Lets start with some fast facts about what is considered normal bladder habits:
- It is normal to pee between 5-7 times a day. However as we get older, bladder capacity does get smaller which will increase urinary frequency.
- The typical time between voiding is every 2 – 2.5 hours.
- Urine should flow easily without discomfort in a good, steady stream until the bladder is empty. No pushing or straining is necessary to empty the bladder.
- An urge is a signal that you feel as the bladder stretches to fill with urine. Urges can be felt even if the bladder is not full. Urges are not commands to go to the toilet, merely a signal and can be controlled.
What are good bladder habits?
- Take your time when emptying your bladder. Don’t strain or push to empty your bladder. Make sure you empty your bladder completely each time you pass urine.
- Consistently ignoring the urge to go (waiting more than 3 hours between toileting) or urinating too infrequently may be convenient but not healthy for your bladder.
- Avoid going to the toilet “just in case” or more often than every 2 hours. It is usually not necessary to go when you feel the first urge. Try to go only when your bladder is full. Urgency and frequency of urination can be improved by retraining the bladder and spacing your fluid intake throughout the day. Practice good toilet habits. Don’t let your bladder control your life.
Here are our top tips to maintaining good bladder habits:
- Maintain a good fluid intake. Depending on your body size and environment, drink 6 -8 cups (8 oz each) of fluid per day unless otherwise advised by your doctor. Not enough fluid creates a foul odor and dark color of the urine. However clear urine is not recommended either; urine should be a pale yellow color.
- Limit the amount of caffeine (coffee, cola, chocolate or tea) and citrus foods that you consume as these foods can be associated with an increased sensation of urinary urgency and frequency.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol increases urine production and also makes it difficult for the brain to coordinate bladder control.
If you have tried these tips and feel like you are still feeling increase urgency & frequency of peeing, give us a call at Legacy Physical Therapy and schedule a discovery session to talk to one of our pelvic floor PT’s so we can stop letting your bladder control you!