If you already struggle with incontinence, the last thing you need is something that will weaken your bladder. And it’s been said that pain medications like ibuprofen might decrease bladder capacity and make you need to go to the bathroom more often.
But is that really true? Does ibuprofen make you pee more? And if so, what are some alternatives that might work even better?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that reduces fevers and relieves minor aches or pains. You’ve probably seen it in stores as Advil or Motrin IB. These medications reduce pain by blocking the body’s production of a substance that contributes to soreness and aches.
How Does Ibuprofen Affect Your Bladder?
Note that ibuprofen is considered safe for most people, and not everyone will experience side effects similarly. With that said, as with any medication, ibuprofen may lead to some unwanted outcomes.
Specifically for your bladder, ibuprofen has been shown to possibly increase the frequency of urination, as well as contribute to pain in the bladder. It can also make it difficult to urinate or even cause you to urinate less often. It’s unknown why ibuprofen can affect your bladder in these ways.
Ibuprofen can also increase your thirst or cause you to sweat more often. This will naturally increase your fluid intake, which might force you to visit the bathroom more often.
Ibuprofen can cause some other side effects too. These include:
- Fatigue or trouble sleeping
- Ringing in the ears
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Allergic reaction (typically mild)
- Blurred vision or irritation in your eyes
- Fluid retention and ankle swelling
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting
As a general rule of thumb, you should always speak with your doctor before taking any new medicine — especially if you have slight incontinence. The last thing you’ll want is more leakage, so it’s best to play it safe rather than sorry.
What Are Ibuprofen Alternatives?
Ibuprofen is a great tool for pain relief, but it’s not for everyone. Not only can it worsen your bladder issues, but it also comes with other side effects that you might want to avoid. While every medication has potential side effects, other options might suit you.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a popular alternative that many people prefer to typical NSAIDs because it does not act as a blood thinner. This makes it generally safe to use in conjunction with other medications that might affect blood viscosity.
Most natural pain relievers are also unlikely to affect your bladder capacity — these work to alleviate pain and usually don’t come with as many potential side effects. Natural anti-inflammatories include capsaicin cream, fish oil, turmeric, and berries.
How Can I Strengthen My Bladder Without Medication?
If you struggle with incontinence, or if you just can’t hold your bladder like you used to, there are a few ways you can work to strengthen your pelvic floor and decrease the amount of urine loss you experience throughout a given day.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Always get approval from your doctor before attempting pelvic floor exercises. Your pelvic floor is the group of muscles that connect your tailbone to your groin.
This is responsible for holding and releasing your bladder. If you have a weak pelvic floor, you’re more likely to experience incontinence — especially during strenuous activity.
Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, strengthen these muscles to make it easier for you to hold your bladder. Something as simple as squeezing your pelvic floor for a few seconds over 15 minutes can go a long way in strengthening your pelvic floor and reducing drips or dribbles.
Drink More Water
Many people who feel like they can’t hold their bladder tend to drink less because they don’t want to have accidents or need to take thousands of trips to the bathroom. But that actually does more harm than good because drinking less water can decrease your bladder capacity and make you need to go to the bathroom more often.
Aim to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day to keep that bladder and body healthy. Considering half of the human body is made of water, drinking enough fluids is crucial for overall health and well-being.
A morning cup o’ joe is one of the most important first steps in getting out of bed. And while you don’t need to give up coffee entirely, it’s good to be mindful.
Caffeine can irritate the bladder and affect the way it works. Many people who drink lots of caffeine tend to notice increased urination and frequent urge to pee.
So try to replace that second cup with some decaf, or switch to it entirely. Small, simple changes can go a long way towards improving your overall well-being.
Are There Incontinence Products for Men?
Even if you work hard to avoid incontinence, it’s sometimes inevitable. And if you’ve got some slight incontinence, Male Drip Protection is the perfect fit.
With a revolutionary two-strap solution, this is like a sleeve for a penis of all shapes and sizes. It can be tightened or loosened throughout the day and is easy to remove and replace. So if you leak a little bit more than the two ounces it can hold, you can put on a new one with just a quick trip to the bathroom.
Every man is on a mission, and MDP lets you do it without worrying about bladder leaks. Incontinence has finally met its match.
Ibuprofen has several side effects, and some specifically affect the bladder. Notably, ibuprofen tends to irritate the bladder and cause an increase or decrease in urination. Alternatives like acetaminophen, as well as natural anti-inflammatories, can work to reduce pain without the same side effects.