Greater Boston Urology Blog

Bladder Health Awareness Month

November is Bladder Health Awareness Month. So let's talk about our bladders! How big is a bladder anyway? How much urine can a bladder hold? Why is our pee sometimes a different color? What are the risk factors for bladder cancer?

Remember, the information below is intended to be educational only. If you're experiencing a bladder issue, always talk to your doctor.

15 Facts About Bladders and Bladder Function

  1. A healthy adult bladder can hold up to 16 ounces (2 cups) of urine comfortably. [Source: Kidney & Urology Foundation of America]
  1. A bladder is about the size of a pear, but it can expand to the size of a large grapefruit. [Source: University of Nebraska Medical Center]
  1. Normal bladder function = peeing 6 to 8 times in a 24-hour period. [Source: Cleveland Clinic]
  1. You should be able to sleep for six to eight hours a night without waking up to pee. Nocturia is the medical name for waking up two or more times a night to urinate. [Source: Urology Care Foundation]
  1. The color of your urine can tell a lot! Healthy urine is typically a soft yellow to amber. Clear means you're drinking too much water. Cloudy could indicate dehydration or a urinary tract infection. What you eat can affect your urine's color, too. Beets and blueberries can give it a pinkish hue. Bottom line: pay attention to your pee. If the color is "off" (and especially if you’re experiencing any other symptoms or you spot blood in your urine), contact your doctor. [Source: Healthline]
  1. Certain foods/drinks are known bladder irritants. Think caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, chocolate, acidic foods (e.g. tomato sauce), spicy foods, and certain acidic fruits (like lemons). [Source: Mayo Clinic]
  1. Seeing blood in the urine (hematuria) can be distressing. Always talk to your doctor. Hematuria has many causes, including UTIs, kidney stones, an enlarged prostate, and kidney or bladder tumors. [Source: Healthline]
  1. In the U.S., about 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 4 men suffer from urinary incontinence symptoms. [Source: Urology Care Foundation]
  1. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are extremely common in women. Men get them, too. In fact, about 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime. [Source: Urology Care Foundation]
  1. Cranberry can be effective for treating recurrent UTIs, provided you use the right type of cranberry. [Source: Cranberry for Recurrent UTIs & Other FAQs]
  1. Overactive bladder affects over 33 million Americans. [Source: Urology Care Foundation]
  1. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help treat overactive bladder and stress urinary incontinence (as well as other conditions). [Source: What is Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?]
  1. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in men. It’s less common in women, but women are more likely to present with advanced tumors. [Source: American Cancer Society]
  1. People who work in certain professions, from firefighters to truck drivers to hair stylists, have an elevated risk of developing bladder cancer due to workplace exposure to chemicals. [Source: American Cancer Society]
  1. Smokers are at least 3 times as likely to get bladder cancer as non-smokers; smoking causes half of all bladder cancers in men and women. [Source: American Cancer Society]

Interested in learning more about conditions affecting the bladder?

Here's a roundup of helpful articles from our blog:

Remember, at Greater Boston Urology, our physicians can treat your bladder issues, from the occasional UTI to bladder cancer (and everything in between). Make an appointment today!

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