If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your bladder health. While the bladder isn’t something that you think about every minute of every day, it’s an organ that’s vital to your body. If you’re serious about having a healthy bladder there are some things you can do to keep it healthy.

healthy bladder

What’s the purpose of your bladder?

Your bladder is a sac-like organ that stores urine. Urine is produced by your kidneys and carries waste products and excess water out of your body. When your bladder is full, it signals the brain to tell your muscles to contract and release urine through the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).

Here are three tips for a healthy bladder:

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial for flushing out toxins and keeping the bladder and kidneys healthy. Aim for eight glasses of water a day, or more if you’re active or live in a hot climate. Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate the body. Listen to your body when you think it may be needing liquids

Don’t hold it

When you have to urinate, don’t hold it in. The sensation of needing to urinate occurs when the bladder muscles contract and push urine into the urethra. The brain then sends a signal to the sphincter muscles (the muscles that control urine flow) to relax and allow urine to pass. When you hold in your urine, this process is repeated multiple times, causing the bladder muscles to stretch. Over time, this can lead to the weakening of the bladder muscles and incontinence.

Quit smoking

Smoking is a major risk factor for bladder cancer. It also irritates the bladder and can cause urinary tract infections. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your bladder health. The best way to quit smoking is to talk to your doctor about quitting methods that will work for you. There are many effective options available, including nicotine replacement therapy, medication, and counseling.

Why is having a healthy bladder important?

Having a healthy bladder is important for overall urinary and reproductive health. Taking steps to keep your bladder healthy can help prevent urinary tract infections, incontinence, and bladder cancer.

How often should you get your bladder checked?

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of a bladder problem, such as incontinence, pain while urinating, or blood in your urine, see your doctor right away.

Otherwise, the American Urological Association recommends that women have a pelvic exam and urine test at least once every year after age 18. Men should have a digital rectal exam and urine test at least once every year after age 40.

These are just a few tips to help you keep your bladder healthy. For more information, talk to your doctor or visit the American Urological Association website. Contact Urology of South Bend today if you have questions or concerns about your bladder!