How well do you know your Bladder?
You got out of 10 questions correct
Other than the obvious physical symptoms, poor bladder health can profoundly affect a person’s quality of life.
The good news is that symptoms of bladder health can be effectively treated by addressing the root issue or, in certain cases, by making lifestyle/behavioural adjustments such as decreasing the amount of liquid intake, losing weight, proper exercise and reducing or quitting smoking.
The first step is to have your situation assessed by a medical professional who can better determine the status of your individual bladder health. And of course, don’t neglect your bladder at your next doctor’s visit.
Your bladder is a muscle that collects urine and is connected to your kidneys.
Answer: True. Your bladder is not an organ, but a muscle that collects urine from the kidneys, and stores it until urination.
Three sets of muscles control the flow of urine: the bladder muscles, the sphincter muscles and the pelvic floor muscles.
Answer: True. Weak pelvic floor muscles may result in symptoms of urinary incontinence. Click here to find out more.
Poor bladder health only affects people over the age of 50.
Answer: False. The Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey (CUBS 2003) showed that 21.8 per cent of Canadians 18 or older have bladder problems. To find out more about bladder health and age click here.
Causes for urinary incontinence can include obesity, childbearing and diabetes.
Answer: True. Some of the causes of poor bladder health include weakened pelvic floor muscles, diabetes, stool build up, urinary tract infection, obesity and smoking. 1
1 Finklestein, MM Medical Conditions, Medications, and Urinary Incontinence Canadian Family Physician,January 2002, Vol 48.
Kegel exercises are a form of yoga.
Answer: False. Kegel exercises (also known as “Kegels”) strengthen the pelvic muscles that support your bladder. If the muscles of the pelvic floor are weak, the urethra cannot be completely closed and urine may leak. Click here for instructions on how to do proper Kegel exercises.
Only 2 - 3 per cent of Canadians suffer from an overactive bladder (OAB).
Answer: False. Between 12-18% of Canadians suffer from an overactive bladder (OAB). Click here to find out more about OAB and if it can affect you.
Caffeinated products, alcohol and citrus juices are bladder-friendly liquids.
Answer: False. The most bladder-friendly liquids are water, apple juice, cranberry juice and grape juice. Though everyone reacts differently to various fluids, monitoring your fluid intake will allow you to identify which fluids improve or worsen your symptoms. Click here to see a list of bladder-friendly fluids.
Experiencing a sudden and overwhelming urge to use the washroom may be a sign of an overactive bladder (OAB).
Answer: True. Overactive bladder (OAB) is a chronic medical condition that is marked by the sudden, and sometimes uncomfortable, need to urinate. This can occur at any time during the day or night, and it may or may not result in the leakage of urine.
Urinary incontinence is not treatable.
Answer: False. There are many treatments available for various forms of urinary incontinence including lifestyle modification techniques and prescription medication that can be taken once-daily. If you are experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence (urinary leakage) that are affecting your overall quality of life, speak to your doctor.
As long as you have an annual check-up with your physician and do regular blood tests, you do not need to discuss your bladder health.
Answer: False. Your family doctor won’t know you have bladder problems unless you tell him/her. Pay close attention to your body (including your bladder) and maintain an open dialogue with your doctor. Click here for some common symptoms.