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The Washington Post: A Guide to Peeing

The Washington Post recently spoke with urologist Stephen Freedland, MD, director of the Center for Integrated Research in Cancer and Lifestyle, and professor of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai, about common habits that could lead to urinary, bladder and pelvic floor problems.

Among these habits to avoid are urinating too infrequently or too often. "Going 12 hours between urinating is not normal; going every 15 minutes is not normal," Freedland told The Post.

Regularly holding urine can stretch the bladder irreversibly. "Once the damage is done, so to speak, we can prevent further damage—the bladder can heal to a certain degree—but only to a certain degree," said Freedland.

The opposite behavior also can be harmful. Never allowing the bladder to fill completely can mean "the bladder will not fill up as much when you do need it to fill up," Freedland told The Post.

Adults normally urinate every three to four hours while awake, and the bladder should take about 30 seconds to empty, said Freedland. He advised anyone whose sleep is being disrupted by the need to urinate to limit or cut off fluids—particularly caffeine and alcohol, which increase urine production—after dinner.

Freedland also warned against "hovering" over the toilet. He advised resting the feet on a stool or leaning forward when urinating to get the knees above the hips and protect the pelvic floor muscles, which support the internal organs.

If urinary problems persist, which could be a sign of underlying health conditions, Freedland recommended discussing them with a doctor.

Click here to read the complete article from The Washington Post.