People don't usually notice how many times they pee until they realize they’re doing it more frequently than usual. An average person’s urinary frequency is between four and 10 times a day, so it may be alarming when you have to run to the bathroom multiple times an hour. Increased urinary frequency can be uncomfortable and interfere with your personal, professional, and romantic life.
The first step to lowering your urinary frequency is by drinking less water and avoiding diuretics, such as coffee. However, if you still have frequent urination despite taking these measures, you should undertake bladder training. The goal of bladder training is to slowly increase the length of time between your bathroom breaks. Below are eight tips on how to hold your pee for at least 5 minutes, until you can go 2-4 hours without having to use the bathroom.
1. Distract Yourself
The urge to pee occurs when nerves send a signal to the brain that the bladder is full. However, if you have an overactive bladder, your brain may urge you to pee even when your bladder is empty, making you rush to the toilet only to be disappointed by your bladder’s output.
Occupying your mind for a few minutes after feeling the urge to pee is a good way of training your bladder. If the urge to pee comes when you’re busy, continue your task for a few minutes before going to the toilet. You can also distract yourself by writing a to-do list for the day, listening to your favorite song from start to finish, or imagining an upcoming vacation until the urge disappears.
2. Count Backwards
If you get the urge to pee when idle and can’t find a good mental image to get lost in, fall back on a simple distraction: counting. While many people count sheep to lull themselves to sleep, doing the same can help you delay the need to pee for a few minutes.
Count backward from 100 or sing the alphabet song backward to keep your mind focused on something other than the urge to pee. You can increase the length of pauses between each number or letter to help you practice holding your pee longer.
Setting a timer and counting down the seconds may help distract you for a while and remind you to go to the bathroom when it’s time.
3. Avoid Nature Sounds
Calming sounds can work against your ability to keep your mind from the urge to pee. Running water, the bubbling of a stream of tea or coffee, or nature sounds in a song or video will only stimulate your body’s natural reaction.
Irritating sounds can also make the urge to pee worse. If using music or videos as a distraction, try to ignore sounds with high-pitched frequencies since these can make you focus on bodily discomforts, such as irritated ears and a pressing bladder.
4. Loosen Up
It’s natural to cross your legs tightly to keep the pee in longer, especially when you’re occupied. However, remaining mindful of your posture is key to practicing effective bladder control.
When you feel the urge to urinate, uncross your arms and take deep, calming breaths. Some people can hold their pee better with their legs crossed, while others find sitting with their feet wide apart helps them feel better. Experiment with different positions until you find the ones that work for you.
Stretching is another good way of loosening your muscles and reducing pressure on your bladder. Flex your fingers, toes, and jaw to relax. Hold your hands above your head and stretch your legs out in front of you for at least 30 seconds. Popping your back and stretching your abs can also reduce bladder tension.
Don’t be afraid to move around, taking measured steps around the room for a few minutes. You can also shift your weight from foot to foot to lower tension on your bladder.
5. Do Kegel Exercises
Pelvic floor muscles form a protective band around your urethra, anus, and vagina. When you get the urge to pee, these muscles expand, opening your urethra in preparation for releasing the bladder. Thus, contracting the pelvic floor muscles is crucial to delaying the need to pee.
Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, improving your bladder control, so you can determine when to pee. You can discreetly do these exercises wherever you are, even in public.
To make sure you’re exercising the right muscles, wait until you get the urge to pee and pretend to release your bladder, stopping before urine leaks out. You should feel the muscles around your vagina and anus tighten upwards without affecting the muscles in your buttocks or thighs. Repeat the motion until you can target these muscles without putting much thought into it.
Do Kegel exercises at least three times a day, whenever your bladder is empty. Contract and expand the muscles at least 10 times each round, holding each movement for a few seconds to strengthen them. Breathe freely and don’t clench muscles on other parts of your body while doing the exercises.
If you’re diligent about Kegel exercises, you may notice more bladder control over time. This type of exercise requires consistency, so you should try to incorporate them into your daily schedule to manage your urinary frequency.
6. Go If You Have To
Factors, such as age, weight, and health conditions, can make bladder training a slow process. While knowing how to hold in your pee for at least 5 minutes can make the urge go away, it’s perfectly fine if you have to go.
Setting small, achievable goals can make bladder training a more effective process. You start by learning how to hold your pee for 1 minute and increase the duration over time. Don’t give up if you don’t see positive results within a few days. Viewing bladder training as a slow hike rather than a sprint will make the results more impressive.
7. Have a Backup Plan
The urge to pee sometimes strikes at the most inconvenient time, thwarting your best efforts to hold it. If this has happened to you before, or if you’re worried it might happen, having a few disposable pads and underwear close by will keep your clothes unsoiled.
Nexwear has a range of incontinence pads designed to sit flush against your underwear without creating an outline against your clothes. The pads are highly absorbent, leak-proof, and odor-resistant, allowing you to go a few hours without running to the bathroom.
Wearing incontinence underwear is also a good idea if you have an overactive bladder. The form-fitting underwear keeps you comfortable and stylish and has multiple absorbent layers to keep urine away from your skin. It also utilizes odor-neutralizing technology that ensures you can go about your day confidently and discreetly.
8. Be Patient With Yourself
Urinary incontinence affects over 78 million adult American women, so there’s no reason to be ashamed about frequent urination or using incontinence products, such as Nexwear pads and underwear.
In fact, equipping yourself with quality products allows you to take your time with bladder training, assuring you’re protected even when you don’t achieve the desired results.Shop Nexwear incontinence products today as your first step in learning how to hold in your pee.