BPH

Bladder Training: Benefits For Men

The bladder is part of the urinary tract. It is connected to the kidneys and helps to expel urine from the body.

The kidneys filter blood and fluids to remove toxins from a person’s body. As toxins are removed, the kidneys push these substances toward the bladder. The kidneys also remove excess fluids. These fluids are sent to the bladder along with the toxins.

In healthy individuals, the bladder will empty when the individual needs to urinate, which only happens a few times a day. During urination, the bladder empties through the urethra. In men, the urethra passes through the penis. 

Sometimes, problems with the bladder may develop. In such a scenario, a man may have a frequent or consistent urge to urinate. There are cases of leaking too. This is when the man would leak urine unexpectedly – often, even when the bladder is not full. 

Bladder training is a strategy that may help some people who have urinary issues. These strategies may also assist in alleviating symptoms associated with certain prostate problems.

We look at what bladder training is. Furthermore, this post will consider the connection between prostate health and bladder training. 

What Is Bladder Training?

Bladder training is a more natural approach to the treatment of urinary problems. The technique does not include the use of any medications or similar treatment protocols.

Several strategies may form part of bladder training. Many people do find that bladder training does provide an effective way of controlling the bladder. It has also been shown to provide promising results for specific conditions. 

The primary goal of bladder training is to help increase the duration of bladder emptying. A person may need to urinate every 15 minutes. With an effective bladder training strategy, this time may increase. With a consistent need to urinate, the patient’s daily life may be disrupted continuously. When the duration of urinary urges increases, the person can get back to their normal routine. 

Bladder training itself involves a variety of strategies that are used in combination with each other. Only when all appropriate techniques are applied will bladder training provide a person with effective results. The training method is considered a type of behavior therapy system. It is often prescribed for the treatment of urinary incontinence. This, however, is not the only condition that may benefit from bladder training. 

The technique generally involves a fixed schedule for voiding. A person will be advised to void even if they feel that they do not need to urinate. By following such a schedule, the body and bladder are trained to adapt to a voiding routine. This sometimes helps a person with the suppression of urine. It may also prove beneficial for reducing the interval between urination. 

As the individual continues with the techniques prescribed, they are advised to increase the duration of the scheduled voiding times. It often starts with a 15-minute interval between voiding sessions. This can then be increased by 15 or 30 minutes at a time. The ultimate goal of bladder training is to ensure a person can feel comfortable without urination for up to four hours. 

While following a voiding schedule, the patient will also be advised to suppress urination if they have an urge during a time that is not scheduled. This may be a challenge for some, especially with more severe urinary symptoms. Fortunately, the strategies that form part of bladder training can be helpful in these situations. 

Patients should acknowledge themselves in techniques that may assist with bladder control. Relaxation techniques are highly effective at helping with the suppression of an urge to urinate. 

Kegel exercises are also effective for this particular purpose. If the patient feels they have to urinate, they may practice kegel exercises. These exercises do not require any special equipment. They can also be done anywhere and provide a relatively private option when trying to control the bladder.

It is simple to adopt a kegel exercise strategy, and both men and women can benefit from them. Pelvic floor muscle training is also helpful for improving muscle tissue strength in the area. This may hold additional benefits for the individual. 

What conditions can Bladder Training alleviate?

Bladder training can be effective for different conditions. The primary goal of the technique is to help with bladder control. This means the technique is essentially aimed at people with issues related to their bladder. This will likely consist of urinary symptoms. #

With this in mind, several conditions have been linked to symptoms associated with urination and urine control. 

Urinary Incontinence

In the majority of cases, bladder control is prescribed to patients with urinary incontinence. This condition leads to urinary urgency frequently. It can become quite disruptive.

Some men experience additional symptoms when they have incontinence. This might even include accidental voiding when they are unable to reach a bathroom in time. 

It is important to note that different types of urinary incontinence conditions can affect the patient. Understanding which type a person has provided more insight into the condition. It may also help the person understand the potential reasons behind the condition.

We will consider the types of urinary incontinence that might improve with a bladder training strategy below. 

Urge Incontinence

With this type of incontinence, the urge to urinate generally comes on suddenly. It is often also unexpected, which makes it hard for a person to be in control. Urge incontinence causes a contraction in the bladder. This often happens when the bladder is not full, making it an even further inconvenience for people. When the contraction happens, a lot of men may lose some urine. This is especially a case when the man is far away from a bathroom. 

Stress Incontinence

This is a relatively common issue among people with urinary problems. Stress incontinence also causes a sudden urge for urination in the patient. A majority of people with stress incontinence may lose some urine. It generally happens when there is sudden pressure applied to the abdominal area of the individual. Coughing is a common factor that leads to symptoms of stress incontinence. 

When the patient coughs, there is pressure applied to their abdomen. This causes the bladder to expel some urine without warning. Laughing and sneezing are also activities that may lead to stress incontinence. 

Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence happens when there is an issue with bladder emptying. In this particular scenario, the patient cannot completely empty their bladder when they visit the bathroom. Since there is still urine left in the bladder, some patients find that they leak urine following urination. 

Mixed Incontinence

In some patients, a combination of incontinence types may become an issue. In the majority of cases, this would include a combination of urge incontinence and stress incontinence. It is relatively common for a person to experience both of these types. This means sudden pressure that is applied to the abdominal region may cause urine leakage. The patient may also experience unexpected muscle contractions in the bladder. 

Other Conditions Treated With Bladder Training

Urinary incontinence is not the only issue that may be treated with a bladder training program. The strategies have been shown as effective options for other conditions too. 

In children, bed-wetting may sometimes be treated successfully with bladder training. This essentially acts as a retraining method for kids who frequently wet their beds. With an effective strategy in place, bed-wetting may be significantly reduced in just a short period of time. 

Additionally, a lot of women experience urinary symptoms after giving childbirth. This is another area where the use of a bladder training program can proof as a useful strategy. The same goes for women who have reached menopause. Urinary issues are also common among these women, which is why bladder training may be advised. 

Bladder Training and Prostate Health

In men, bladder training may have a connection to prostate health. To understand this connection, it is essential to know where the prostate is – and how it functions. The prostate gland is very small. It is about the size of a walnut. While it is one of the smaller glands, it plays a critical role in the reproductive system. 

The prostate is situated around the urethra. The urethra is a small tube that runs from a man’s bladder through the inside of the penis. This tube is responsible for ensuring urine can be expelled from the body. When prostate problems develop, there may be pressure applied to the urethra. Some men also experience pressure on the bladder due to an enlarged prostate. 

The development of prostate issues generally comes with urinary symptoms. As pressure is applied to regions like the urethra and the lower end of the bladder, the man may find that they develop problems with urination. This may include a more frequent need to urinate. There may be times when the man suddenly experiences an urge to urinate. This may be due to a type of stress incontinence effect, as the prostate pushes against the bladder. 

Bladder training might be particularly useful for reducing these urinary symptoms. Bladder control may become a problem when a man’s prostate becomes enlarged. This is not only an issue experienced with an enlarged prostate. Conditions like prostatitis can also lead to urinary issues. 

By performing bladder training, it may be possible for the patient to experience better control over their bladder. 

This is also not the only way that bladder training might be useful in terms of prostate health. 

One of the key strategies that are part of bladder training includes Kegel exercises. This is not only a useful strategy for reducing urinary symptoms. 

Studies have shown that Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the prostate gland. Kegel exercises have shown to provide a significant improvement in men with incontinence. In some studies, the exercises proved effective following prostate surgery as well. This makes it an all-around effective technique for men to experience improved prostate well-being. 

Furthermore, it has also been found that bladder training can be helpful for men with an overactive bladder. This is particularly the case when the overactive bladder is caused by swelling or enlargement of the prostate. 

Tips for Bladder Training

Bladder training is not complicated. Still, men do need to ensure they fully understand how the process works. This ensures the man can take full advantage of what bladder training has to offer for a male patient.

  • When setting up bladder training, make sure you keep a diary with you at all times. A bladder diary is considered an essential part of this behavioral therapy. Make sure to make a note every time you urinate. It is also useful to set up your voiding schedule in the bladder diary. 


  • Following a schedule is another important part of your bladder training program. Make sure you set up a schedule with a doctor’s supervision. Intervals between the scheduled voiding times should gradually be increased as your training starts to show results. Be sure to follow through with the schedule – try to only urinate at specific dedicated times. 

  • Do not only rely on your Kegel exercises when you feel an urge to urinate at an unscheduled voiding time. Make a habit of doing Kegels frequently. This helps to strengthen your control over your bladder. Kegels are also very useful for prostate health in men. You can do Kegel exercises a couple of times every day for maximum benefits. 

  • Limited your intake of certain beverages like coffee and sodas. Caffeine may worsen your urinary symptoms. This may also reduce your ability to make use of bladder training. 

  • Reduce the number of fluids you drink shortly before going to bed. This can help to reduce nighttime urination. When fluids are limited, men can sleep better at night. 

  • Another useful tip for reducing the need to wake up at night is to urinate before getting into bed. This can be done immediately before a man goes to bed. It can be a useful strategy even when there is not a current urge to urinate. 

Conclusion

Bladder training may be an effective strategy to reduce the effect of prostate issues. Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia may experience fewer urinary symptoms with frequent sessions of bladder training.

Other urinary issues not directly caused by the prostate may also benefit from these strategies. Getting started is relatively easy, but men should ensure they understand how the process works to take full advantage. 

Sources

  1. International Journal of Clinical Practice. (2009) Practical aspects of lifestyle modifications and behavioral interventions in the treatment of overactive bladder and urgency urinary incontinence. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734927/
  2. Pharmacy and Therapeutics Journal. (2012) Management of Urinary Incontinence. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2734927/
  3. SpringerLink. Timed Voiding and Fluid Management. [online] Available at: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-84800-348-4_52
  4. International Urogynecology Journal. (1995) Pelvic floor muscle exercise for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence: An exercise physiology perspective. [online] Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01901527
  5. American Journal of Men’s Health. (2018) The Effect of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training On Incontinence Problems After Radical Prostatectomy. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6131443/
  6. Healthline. (2017) Exercises for Men with Prostate Problems or an Overactive Bladder. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/overactive-bladder-exercises-men

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