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Emptying your bladder

Feel Like You Can't Get All The Pee Out? These 4 Tricks May Help

Have you ever felt like you can’t quite empty your bladder? Maybe you get a nagging feeling you still have to go, even though you are still washing your hands from the last time you went. Or maybe, you dribble a few drops every time you stand to pull up your pants. Are you pushing and straining to get every last drop out?

It’s annoying to say the least, but for those with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction these bladder symptoms are all too common, and pelvic physical therapy can help.

Whenever you notice new bladder symptoms, your first stop should always be your healthcare provider. They will make sure an infection or other medical condition isn’t to blame. Once cleared, your next stop should be your pelvic physical therapist so they can work with you to optimize your pelvic floor muscle function with a holistic and comprehensive plan of care.

In the meantime, here are four tricks to try that may help tame your pelvic floor into helping you easily empty your bladder.

Trick #1: Improve your toileting posture

For better pelvic muscle performance, try this posture when you pee:

  • Place both feet evenly on the floor in front of you. Depending on the height of your toilet, you may want to put your feet up on a step stool to prevent your feet from hanging.
  • Open your knees wider than your hips and allow your belly to sag down.
  • Keep your back tall and hinge slightly forward, resting your hands or elbows on your knees.

Trick #2: Take a few relaxing breaths

By breathing into your belly and intentionally releasing your pelvic floor muscles with each inhale, your bladder has an easier time emptying because your pelvic floor is out of the way.

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Trick #3: Try a “Horse-Lipped” exhale

If regular belly breaths aren’t helping, try focusing on blowing air out through your lips, like a horse! This trick encourages your pelvic floor muscles to relax more effectively by relaxing the muscles in your jaw.

Trick #4: Try “Double Voiding” techniques

After you finish, try these double voiding techniques to help you empty your bladder without needing to strain:

  • While still sitting on the toilet, rock your torso or hips from side to side.
  • Stand up, and sit right back to encourage your bladder to re contract and fully empty.
  • Spend 30-45 extra seconds focusing on relaxing your pelvic floor, and even encouraging gentle bulges with long diaphragmatic breaths.
Ashley Rawlins Headshot
Dr. Ashley Rawlins, PT, DPT

Dr. Rawlins is a physical therapist at Origin who specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions including pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, pregnancy related pain, postpartum recovery, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she is a passionate educator and author.

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