When was the last time you talked about bladder health, or even thought about it for that matter? Bladder health is a topic that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s an important topic that affects everyone. It’s sometimes difficult to know when you should talk to your doctor about bladder health, though. Obviously, you should talk to your doctor right away if your urine is dark or cloudy, but what if you just start using the bathroom more than usual?
There are many different types of bladder problems, and they can indicate a number of different things. Here is some information to help you know when to talk to the doctor about bladder health.
How often is too often?
You may have wondered if you go to the bathroom too many times throughout the day. What is a normal number of times to use the bathroom, and how frequent is frequent urination?
These are tricky questions to answer. There’s not an exact amount of urine that everyone consistently makes each day, and people do not urinate the same amount. On average, however, adults pass one and a half quarts of urine each day.
Frequent urination is the need to urinate more frequently than is normal for you. This may mean that you pass more urine, or it may mean that you pass less urine than usual when you urinate, but urinate more often.
There are a number of factors that affect the amount of urine your body produces.
- Your diet – the amount of fluids you consume from food and drink.
- How much you sweat.
- How often you exercise.
- Certain medications affect the amount of urine you produce.
- The amount of caffeine you consume affects urine production.
What’s the difference between urinary incontinence and frequent urination?
Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control, whereas frequent urination is the need to urinate more than is normal. Someone with urinary incontinence urinates when they do not want to — we’re talking about wet pants or having to rush to the bathroom. As with frequent urination, there are many possible causes for urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence may be a result of your diet, weakened urethral muscles, or a more serious health condition.
When should you talk to your doctor about bladder health?
Talk to your doctor if you:
- have difficulty going about daily life because of bladder problems
- avoid social situations because of bladder problems
- urinate more than 8 times a day, or urinate more than is normal for you.
- wake up often during the night to urinate.
- find yourself with a sudden and strong need to urinate.
- experience pain when urinating.
- pass very dark or cloudy urine.
- are unable to hold urine, or urinate when you do not want to.
- have trouble urinating even when you feel the need to.
- urinate with increasing frequency.
- experience frequent urination with no apparent cause.
Talk to a MANA physician today if you have changes in your urination patterns or concerns about bladder health.