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Good bladder habits for everyoneGood bladder habits for everyone
Describes signs of bladder control problems which you should seek assistance for as well as describing how to keep your bladder healthy by appropriate fluid intake, practising good toilet habits, maintaining good bowel habits and looking after your pelvic floor muscles. Good bladder habits. What's in it for me?
It is normal to go to the toilet between 4-8 times per day and no more than once at night.
What are the warning signs of bladder control problems?
People are beginning to realise the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining good bladder habits is an important
part of contributing to this healthier lifestyle.
Poor bladder habits can lead to poor bladder control and sometimes incontinence. Here are some simple steps that
everyone should follow to keep their bladder healthy.
Hints to keep your bladder healthy
Step 1: Fluid intake
• Try to drink at least 1.5 litres (6-8 cups) of fluid per day unless advised otherwise by your doctor. • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink as they may irritate the bladder. Don't drink too much coffee, tea or cola. (Instant coffee contains less caffeine than percolated coffee. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee). Step 2: Practice good toilet habits
• Don't get into the habit of going to the toilet 'just in case' as this tends to result in the bladder developing a smaller capacity. Try to go only when your bladder is full and you need to go. (However, emptying your bladder before going to bed is fine). • Take your time when urinating so that your bladder has an opportunity to empty completely. For women, this should be in a seated position. If you rush, this may result in incomplete emptying of your bladder and possible urinary infections. Step 3: Maintain good bowel habits
• Keep your bowels regular and avoid constipation. Persistent straining when using your bowels can weaken Step 4: Look after your pelvic floor muscles
• Keep the tone in your pelvic floor muscles strong with regular pelvic floor exercises. • The 'Pelvic Floor Exercises' fact sheet may help. (There are separate Pelvic Floor Exercise leaflets for Step 5:Seek help from your doctor or continence advisor if you have
difficulties with any of these steps.
1. Any involuntary leakage of urine. 2. Loss of urine, regardless of amount, when you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand, lift or when leakage occurs with 3. An urgent need to pass urine, being unable to hold on or not getting to the toilet in time. 4. Passing small amounts of urine frequently and consistently, e.g. more than eight times per day in small amounts of less than 200 mls (about the contents of a tea cup). 5. Having to get up several times overnight to pass urine. 6. Bedwetting over the age of five years. 7. Difficulty getting your stream of urine started or a stream that stops and starts instead of flowing out 8. The need for straining to pass urine. 9. A sense that the bladder is not empty once urine has been passed. 10. A feeling of burning or discomfort while passing urine. 11. If you are always thirsty and have to urinate frequently. (You could be suffering from diabetes.) 12. Any change in your regular bladder pattern that is causing you concern. If you experience any of the above signs of bladder control problems, please seek help from either your doctor, or a continence service. Ask for help.
You are not alone. Bladder control problems can be cured or improved if treated.
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