The act of urinating is something many of us take for granted, but it’s not uncommon for something to go wrong with your urinary system that may lead to other problems.
Your urinary system works with your lungs, skin, and intestines to maintain your body’s chemical and water balance, but it’s sadly prone to infections, blockages, and other issues.
It’s natural to think of urinary problems as something people deal with as they get older, and while that does happen, you can get urinary problems at any age.
If you’re a woman in the Boston, Massachusetts, area having urinary problems, Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the experienced team here BostonUrogyn provide personalized care for a wide variety of urological conditions at their state-of-the-art facilities.
Here’s a closer look at what you can do to ensure better health for your urinary system.
Also known as the renal system, this vital part of your body is made up of your kidneys, ureter, urethra, and your urinary bladder. Your body filters waste from your blood and creates urine, which travels through your ureters, two thin tubes that carry urine to be stored in your bladder.
Most bladders hold about half a liter of urine for 2-5 hours. When you urinate, the urine is expelled from the body through your urethra out of your genitals. A healthy adult eliminates 27-68 fluid ounces of urine daily based on a fluid intake of 68 ounces (or 2 liters).
Issues that can affect your urinary system can be broken down into a few categories:
This refers to abnormalities that can result from birth defects, prolapse (where the bladder drops out of the vaginal opening), tumors, obstructions, or anything else that can physically prevent urine from moving through your body.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common examples of infections caused by bacteria getting in your body through your urethra.
Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, can cause the bladder to become inflamed and swollen. This can increase the urge to urinate and the frequency of trips to the bathroom.
Chronic kidney disease can result from conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and polycystic kidney disease can cause cysts to form in your kidneys. Some medications taken in high doses, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can also damage your kidneys.
Here are things you can do to reduce your risks of urinary system problems:
Water is the best thing to ensure urinary health, and you should have plenty of it daily. At least half of the fluids you consume should be water. Drinking 6-8 glasses daily is recommended.
Lowering your intake of caffeine and alcohol can help improve urinary health. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks can still be enjoyed, but eat or drink them in moderation.
It’s important to combine a proper diet and sufficient exercise to keep your body at a healthy weight. Obesity can put pressure on your bladder and create problems.
Holding urine too long can weaken bladder muscles over time or allow a bladder infection to become a problem. Try to use the bathroom at least once every 3-4 hours.
When you go, it’s important to wipe away from your genitals in a front-to-back motion. This helps to prevent bacteria getting into the urethra and causing infection. Also, it’s important to urinate after sex to prevent bacteria from building up.
Prevention is something we can all practice to stay healthy longer. But if you’re dealing with urinary issues, make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and Boston Urogyn today by calling one of our Boston area locations, including Wellesley and South Weymouth, or book your visit online.