• See author Jill M. Rabin, MD, interviewed regarding urinary incontinence on the series: What Women Want & Need to Know.
  • Listen to Dr. Rabin discuss women’s bladder health with host, Dr. Derrick DeSilva, on Health Radio.

Mind Over Bladder Book
This wonderful book by an accomplished specialist in treating incontinence is about far more than just the bladder, however important that elastic, muscular sac might be.  Mind Over Bladder: I Never Met a Bathroom I Didn't Like! offers its readers friendly explanations, assurances laced with humor, and empowering guidance for directing a lifelong care plan for their own pelvic health.

And thus I am quoted for the jacket of urogynecologist Jill Rabin's newly published book for women. Written with former patient Gail Stein, the co-authors fully satisfy their goal of helping women take charge over their condition in order to have control over their bladder for life. Mind Over Bladder is not like most books about health and self-help. The author-team weaves their own inseparable and personable stories and tips into a direct, no-nonsense text so as to make the material accessible, understandable, and memorable. There's plenty of humor and colorful stories to go around, like the image of one lying completely naked and enjoying a full body massage when the urge to urinate causes a sudden leap from the masseuse's table and sprint to the toilet.

There is also rhythm to the read that makes it easy to digest, such as Tech Terms to take the mystery out of unfamiliar medical terminology, Do's & Don't's to offer practical tips for those uncomfortable situations such as leakage during sexual intercourse, and Believe It or Not to draw the readers into a private realm with the authors' lives so they don't feel alone.

Detail is abundant in the explanations but just the right amount. Learn why the majority of those with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) are women, the difference between internal versus external sphincter deficiency, how the delivery of a baby can cause incontinence, and what you're supposed to know and do when you're giving a urine specimen. Included too are entire chapters on topics not normally covered sufficiently in other retail publications, such as the informative one on retention. The chapter on diet and daily habits doesn't just tell you to eat more fiber – something all of us already know. For direction and a sense of options, it gives a list of target foods sourced from the USDA and their fiber content by weight.

While lighthearted when the subject calls for relief, there's no fooling around either. You're told to, "Start doing those Kegels right away and continue doing them forever." The command is followed by a detailed set of instructions on how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises, photos and brand names of aids to help, and encouragement about biofeedback therapy. In fact, the illustrations throughout are terrific, such as the one on how a cystoscope works and what a cystoscopy procedure aims to find out.

For those with overactive bladder, combination therapy is recommended. That means medications combined with bladder retraining and Kegels. Like the rest of the book, this advice is music to our ears at NAFC and echoes our mantra.

While surgery for SUI and prolapse is discouraged until non-surgical remedies have all been tried and failed, the guidance on finding an appropriately trained and experienced doctor is spot-on. With objective explanations of surgical procedures, the book is balanced and sure-footed.

As if all of this is not enough, a rich and extensive glossary and set of references frame its encouraging, concluding remarks. If you (or girlfriend) needs a bibliomate, order a copy today.

Nancy Muller
Executive Director
National Association for Continence (NAFC)

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