The fundamentals of bladder health; holding and emptying urine.
Let’s talk about the fundamentals of bladder health, what it looks like to have a healthy bladder and the common bladder problems that millions of American women face.
The bladder is a vacant pouch, like a balloon, with muscular walls behind the pelvic bone. The bladder is part of the urinary system, which also includes two kidneys, a bladder, two ureters, and a urethra. The kidneys take water and waste out of your blood to make urine. The urine travels down your ureters to the bladder and when you’re ready to urinate, the urine drains through the urethra.
Your bladder has two main functions:
- Holding urine. The kidneys make urine all the time and the bladder holds this urine until you allow it to drain. A normal bladder is able to hold about 12 to 16 ounces of urine, about the same amount of liquid in a cup of coffee. The pelvic floor muscles and your urethra help store urine in your bladder.
- Emptying urine. When you are ready to go, the bladder wall muscles compress the urine from the bladder into the urethra and out of the body.
Normally, your bladder warns you when it’s nearly full and this signal gets more powerful until you use the bathroom. The frequency of how often you need to urinate depends on how quickly your kidneys make urine. Most people go every three to four hours while awake but once asleep, most people wake up to urinate no more than one time during the night.
Come back next week for part two of this blog where we will discuss common bladder problems.