How to Manage a Strong Urge to Go

It’s the middle of the night. You feel a strong urge to go, but then comes the fear. Can you get to the bathroom without leaking on the way? You’re on a long car ride. You feel a strong urge to go, but it will take time to pull off the road at the next exit. Can you get to a public restroom with minimal to no panty-dampening? You’re in line at the bank . . . shopping . . . running after your kids . . . the scenarios are endless.

Sometimes the urge to go is overwhelming (even uncontrollable.) I asked Kristen Maike Miles, a PT (Physical Therapist) at the Beaumont Women’s Urology Center in Royal Oak, Michigan, for advice. “Women who have had LBL for a long time get into patterns,” Kristen said, “Sometimes those patterns need to be broken.” Along with other therapeutic options, she gives women something to do, for instance, at night, so they can get more uninterrupted sleep. Here are her instructions:

1. Sit down and think of something else (distract yourself.)

2. Do 3 or 4 quick strong squeezes – on/off, on/off, on/off. (Consider seeing a physical therapist to ensure you’re doing the squeezes correctly.) The result: If your bladder isn’t full, this turns off the feeling or urge to go. Try this at home first so that you’re in a safe place to experiment. If done correctly your muscles will get stronger, and you’ll ease that strong urge.

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