opening the doorHave you ever wondered why your bladder gets really excited when you get home and put the keys in the door? Or maybe the sight of running water brings on the strong need to rush to the toilet and unfortunately, sometimes, you don’t quite make it? 
Part of the ‘Pelvic Health with Lori’ series. Lori Forner is a physiotherapist, host of The Pelvic Health Podcast and ambassador for Always Discreet. 

The strong feeling to urinate (wee), where people will often leak before they get to the toilet, is known as urge urinary incontinence or overactive bladder.  

I see just as many women in my clinic with this urgency, as women who leak small amounts of urine with coughing, sneezing and exercise. That type of leakage is called stress urinary incontinence, referred  to by some as bladder leakage. Most women experience both types, but for different reasons. 

Urge incontinence is often related to ‘overactive’ nerves that make the bladder contract (squeeze) at times when you are not actually sitting on the toilet.  

While there may be other reasons, common toilet habits can become triggers for your brain and the nerves to overreact. These include going to the toilet “just in case” when your bladder isn’t actually full or emptying your bladder in the shower. But, when we rush to try and make it to the toilet, it usually makes it worse…and then we leak. 


What's involved?

Pelvic floor exercises are often part of a treatment plan. However, teaching our bladder to stay calm by breathing and distracting our minds can help us get to the toilet dry, as well as not have these urges as often. This is called ‘bladder training’. 

Physiotherapists trained in pelvic floor rehabilitation or other health professionals such as your GP or a Nurse Continence Specialist are ideal at working out the cause and management options for your needs. 

Read more about urge incontinence.

This story was first published in Bridge Magazine. Subscribe and receive Bridge straight to your inbox.