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  • Writer's picture Dr. Katherine Shephard, PT, DPT

Avoiding JIC Voiding- Bladder Control Women

Bladder Control Women
woman in bathroom

Have to pee before leaving the house?

If you’re of a certain age—well, just about any age old enough to be reading this—you were likely taught to go to the bathroom before leaving the house.

“Just try,” your parents said, so you did. Time after time, year after year. 

And now… Do you get an urge to pee when you are about to leave the house? The restaurant? The store? The gas station?

Is it causing issues and discomfort in your daily life? If you thought, “yes” and you want to learn more about it - we can help! There’s a simple reason why you feel the urge to pee in these situations, and a couple of straightforward, painless techniques you can try to get rid of that unwanted urge.

Here’s what’s going on:

Urges to pee come from your brain (not just your bladder).

All day long, your bladder is sending information to your brain with the message, “I’m this stretched.” 

Your brain puts this information into context. Without consciously thinking about it, your brain is referencing your current environment, your past experiences, and your options:  

  • What am I going to do next? 

  • What have I done in the past? 

  • Am I cold/hungry/tired/happy/distracted? 

  • Etc. etc. etc. 

Then your brain sends down an urge to pee—or not.

Remember Pavlov’s dogs? He rang a bell at feeding time. Over time, his dogs started to salivate with just the ringing of the belleven if there wasn’t food. 

Sometimes our urge to go to the bathroom is just the same. 

A conditioned response. A pattern. 

Fortunately, we can use those same tools of mental conditioning to break the cycle. With the right information, you can rewire your brain so that the urge to pee no longer disrupts your day to day. 

How to make it stop:

  • Change the pattern. Switch up your usual routine for leaving the house. For example, if you always [something], try [another thing] instead.

  • Don’t go to the bathroom. You know your own body. If there’s no reason to believe that your bladder is full (other than habit), resist the impulse to go “just in case.”

  • Just leave. As with a lot of things in life, sometimes the key is, “don’t overthink it.” Pick up your keys, march out the door, and don’t stop to second-guess yourself. 

By breaking the mental connection between “leaving the house” and “needing to pee,” you’ll retrain your brain so that it stops sending you incorrect info about your bladder’s fullness. 

Try it!

It’s easier to change than you thinkand you’ll be giving yourself newfound freedom. You might be surprised by how great it feels to just leave places when you want to!

Of course, not every change is easy, even if the steps seem simple. We’re always happy to work with our clients to help give them support and in-depth information about what’s going on with their bodies. If you’re dealing with an unwanted urge to pee, this is something we can work on together. Click the “Book” button to chat for free with a Discovery Call.

Katherine Shephard, PT, DPT is driven by a passion to help people rebuild their confidence, resume their lives, and reclaim their normal by improving pelvic floor health. 

Along with treating patients and running New Normal PT, she also mentors other pelvic health physical therapists and lectures at St. Catherine University in their doctor of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant programs.

Dr. Shephard treats adults and children of any gender with pelvic floor-related symptoms. With three littles at home, she can relate to parents and translate her care to work with their busy lives. New Normal PT offers both in-person and virtual care options for maximum convenience and flexibility.  

Bladder control women


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