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Learn to squeeze properly and you may not need drugs

Now that I’m at that age (well, TBH, I’ve been at “that age” for a few years at least), I have begun to be aware of my bladder in ways I really don’t want to be reminded of.

TMI, I know, but it now takes me much longer to pee than it used to when I was a young buck (I use the term “buck” very loosely, of course because I was more like a quarter or a dime), it’s harder to start, harder to stop, and I need to get up way more often at night to empty my bladder, especially if I’ve had carotenoid veggies at dinner or (more often) wine.

And like most men, I’ve chosen to treat my over-active bladder with meds, which happily work well for me although not perfectly.

What I haven’t done – and clearly I shoulda been doing for a long time – are exercises to learn bladder control because according to a just-released study of 204 men published in JAMA Internal Medicine, behavioral therapy for bladder control worked even better than meds at relieving over-active bladder symptoms, although the best results came from a combination of behavioral therapy and meds.

Now any male with bladder symptoms should not just assume this is an age-related effect but should definitely get the symptoms assessed (not every man’s favourite way to spend an afternoon, I know, but essential nonetheless).

But if you simply have an over-active bladder to account for your symptoms, start learning to squeeze properly earlier rather than later: It will save you lots of time standing at a urinal, where after all, there isn’t much else to do but stare at the wall in front of you and complain.