I read your question with interest because it is a common problem many people have, in that they cannot totally empty their bladder. I have written on this subject in this forum and several other forums. For the most part, feedback has been positive after giving the method some due diligence and perseverence. I ask that you give this a try over several days and come back to this post to update us.
Many people who do not totally empty their bladder often have UTI - urinary tract infections - because urine lays in the urethra or in the bladder itself. You did not mention if that is the case with you and you did not mention the name of the drug you are taking or the dosage for regulating urination. You also did not mention if a Foley catheter was offered to you as a method of totally draining the bladder. Before you give in to a catheter, give this a try.
I take Detrol 2mg. 2x/day. But it does not take care of my problem completely. Before I started this method, I often was up several times during the night and my sleep was very interrupted. During the day, I found myself stopping activities to go to the bathroom, only to have to go back in less than half an hour to urinate again. So this is my remedy.
Assuming your doctor has ruled out other causes for your frequent urination (ex: cystitis, kidney diseases, etc.), then I may have some useful suggestions for you. I used ergonomic tricks for over 30 years to stave off self-cathing, because I worried about getting infections from self-cathing.
It may sound silly and look absolutely absurd, but who cares, it works. Many people have written to tell me they used to go to the bathroom 5 or 6 times during the night, interrupting restful sleep. They write of their amazement of getting 4 to 6 hours sleep - all at one time, just by doing this before going to bed at night.
If you also do this in the morning, you can be assured of at least 2 to 4 hours of bladder comfort. During the day, you move around more and the bladder is more active than at night. I, myself, use this method every single time I go to the bathroom, so that I only relieve my bladder 4 times a day, when it used to be 10 to 15 times a day.
For Both Male and Female -- Relieve yourself in sitting position. Bend forward to a 45 degree angle and hold position for 60-90 secs. Let any urine release. Now lean to your right side, lifting left buttock off the toilet seat about 3 to 4 inches. Hold for 60 seconds and release any urine. Now lean to your left side, lifting up right buttock about 3 to 4 inches. Hold for 60 seconds and release any urine.
Body positioning is key for this to work. You will be good and comfortable for minimum two hours because you are empty. Try to limit your intake of caffeine: tea, coffee, juices, alcholic drinks, or energy drinks since they stimulate your bladder moreso. Stick to water, about 3 bottles of sixteen ounces each, spread out over your day.
Stop drinking about 2 hours before bedtime. Put the bathroom down on your schedule as the last thing you do before going to "sleep" for the night.
Neurogenic bladders often do not totally empty and that is the reason why most MSers (people with Multiple Sclerosis) and people with other diseases must self-cath. Self-cathing the first time will be hit or miss until you get to know where YOUR urethea is located in your anatomy.
The position you assume to self-cath can be awkward and (if in the company of others) sometimes embarrassing. But sometimes you need another set of hands to help you, so don't hesitate to ask a special someone.
***Self-catherization is the last resort....you don't want to go there if you don't have to. But if you do, positioning in order to self-cath is the hardest part. Experiment with what works best for you. It will certainly require some getting used to also.
Men do not seem to have a problem because of their anatomy being visible and easily accessible. Women, on the other hand, may run into some challenges.
Some women can put a bended leg up on the toilet, use a hand held mirror in one hand and the lubricated catheter in the other and insert. Other women can squat down to within 10-12 inches of the floor, place a hand held mirror on the floor and insert. Some women can sit on the toilet and bend back far enough and insert.
Still others can lie down in bed, bring knees up to chest and using a hand held mirror (or not) then insert. Once you get to know where your urethea is located, you can actually stand, spread your legs and insert, but that takes a while of practicing to get the hang of it.
Self-cathing has its pros and cons. The cons, of course, are possibly re-infecting yourself by using less than clean conditions and re-using catheters. Self-catheters should be used once, and then thrown away. The pros are endless, but include hours of comfort, extra sleep during the night, and reducing embarrassing moments.
A reminder to ANYONE who takes bladder medication (ex: Detrol, etc.) to deter urine output (not people who take medication to promote urine output - ex: Lasix): When you get a UTI, the last thing you want to do is restrict urine output.
I myself stop my Detrol until antibiotics are done. I want the infection OUT as soon as possible and do not want the urine to stay in.
Consult your doctor first before you make changes in your medication schedule.
I hope you find some useful information here and come back and give an update.
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