4 Common Bladder Myths and Facts

By definition; the urinary bladder is an organ which is both muscular and hollow in nature that is responsible for the accumulation of urine before disposal through urination. Urination is a means of waste disposal and successfully flushes out various toxins from the body; as such the urine accumulation function of the bladder cannot be downplayed. In your quest to understand the human bladder and bladder problems and ailments; you will be presented with various myths and facts; and if you do not get your information from the right sources; it will be difficult to separate the two. This article aims to do just that by presenting various myths about the bladder and setting the record straight. Read further to know more.

4 Common Bladder Myths and Facts

4 Common Bladder Myths And Facts

Myth #1: Bladder Ailments are Limited to Older People

Fact: There is a common myth that bladder problems like overactive bladder that is characterized by the sudden urge to urinate and the inability to control that urge is strictly limited to older people. However, the fact is that both young men and women are vulnerable to bladder weakness caused by various factors. Aging does bring about various reasons for incontinence, such as menopause and prostate ailments; however, overactive bladders are not strictly limited to older people.

Myth #2: The Size of your Bladder Determines your Vulnerability to Bladder Problems

Fact: “Small bladder, large problems” is a common complaint which is mostly a myth. Whereas, the fact is that the size of your bladder rarely determines its ability to carry out its functions and overactive bladder (OAB) or urinary incontinence has little to do with bladder size. In most cases the bladder’s capacity to hold urine ranges between 2 to 3 cups; however, various factors lead to OAB, such as; weakened muscles, the side effects of various kinds of medication, various infections and nerve damage. While the myth that small bladder means larger urinary system problems, leaves you no option for treatment; whereas the fact is that various conditions can lead to OAB and they have various corrective measures.

Myth #3: Drinking Less Water is your Best Recourse for OAB

Fact: If you subscribe to the myth that a small bladder means large problems and the inability to control the urge for urination; you probably believe that drinking less water can prevent your bladder from getting filled to capacity thus prevent incontinence. The facts detailed above, makes it quite clear that this is not true. Drinking less water will not reduce the symptoms of OAB and can lead to further complications like urinary tract infections and dehydration.

Myth #4: OAB in Seniors is Untreatable

Fact: Younger people tend to believe that OAB or urinary incontinence to some degree is inevitable with aging while older individuals accept bladder conditions as a part of aging. However, this is a common misconception or myth. Older individuals can definitely seek treatment for incontinence and OAB, while younger people can take steps to prevent these conditions as they age. The fact is that incontinence is symptomatic of specific medical problems and not an inevitable part of aging. Treatment can eliminate the factors that are causing urinary incontinence and preventive measures can eliminate the chances of these ailments from developing in the first place. Weak muscles may lead to incontinence and one can either seek treatment for the condition or practice bladder exercises to avoid the issue of overactive bladder.

Urinary infections can also lead to incontinence and medications do exist with the purpose of treating these infections. As mentioned before; nerve damage may lead to incontinence and nerve damage can be treated or prevented to a large extent. Additionally; various medications have various side effects including urinary incontinence and once one gets to the root of the problem; these medications can be substituted for safer drugs. One can take up multiple preventive measures to strengthen the bladder and avoid urinary incontinence or OAB; pelvic floor exercises can truly strengthen the bladder muscles and so can your decision to quit smoking. Smoking leads to excessive coughing that has a direct impact on the bladder muscles by weakening them. Your decision to quit smoking could potentially prevent urinary incontinence in your latter years. A healthy body translates to a healthy bladder and your decision to imbibe healthy lifestyle practices has lots of potential benefits for your bladder.


In conclusion, it is easy to see that the bladder like, most other organs in our body, is susceptible to various ailments and as with almost all ailments; treatment is almost always available. Similar to other organs of the body; the bladder is also vulnerable to faulty lifestyle choices that we make and one should eliminate habits that have an adverse impact on the bladder. It is also easy to see that most bladder myths revolve around the misconception that we have little control over bladder health, but this is far from the fact, as evidenced above.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 16, 2019

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