If your bladder is a road trip's worst enemy, we've got you.

By Mirel Ketchiff
April 27, 2017

You know that one person who's always begging you to pull over during any car trip? Turns out, they may not be lying when they blame their small bladder. "Some women have small bladder capacity and thus have a need to void frequently," says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an ob-gyn at Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester County, NY. (Translation: They need to pee a lot.)

It's also possible that you got yourself into this mess by not peeing enough in the first place. "You need to train your bladder to pee every two hours," says Draion Burch, D.O., aka Dr. Drai, an ob-gyn based in Pittsburgh. I know, right? "But if you don't, over time you can stretch your bladder out and have these issues of feeling like you have to pee constantly."

So what can you do? First, cut out caffeine, artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and acidic foods, Dr. Burch says. These are all things that can irritate your bladder and cause you to need to pee more. Then, work on peeing every two hours. You can even set an alarm on your phone if you need the reminder. Dr. Burch also suggests trying Kegel exercises to re-strengthen the bladder muscles. (Did you know peeing in the shower is the new Kegel?)

If you try all that and still can't be comfortable without a bathroom close by, consider seeing your doctor. "Frequent urges to urinate can be a sign of a urinary tract infection, interstitial cystitis-inflammation of the bladder-or even diabetes," says Dr. Dweck. Also go stat if you experience burning or pain while urinating, two signs of infection.


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