Department of Health

Good habits

Good bladder and bowel habits are important for a healthy life and can help prevent or improve bladder and bowel control problems. There are several simple habits you can follow to keep your bladder and bowel healthy and to ensure good bladder and bowel control. Parents can also teach their children these good habits during toilet training and throughout their life.

Healthy Bladder

There are 5 basics steps to keeping your bladder healthy include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Using good toilet habits
  • Keeping good bowel habits
  • Looking after your pelvic floor muscles
  • Seeking help if you have any concerns

You need good bladder habits for a healthy life. It is normal to go to the toilet four to six times a day and no more than twice a night.

Healthy Bowel Habits

Similarly to good bladder habits, there are things you can do every day to keep your bowel healthy and avoid bowel control problems, these include:

  • Using a good toilet position - Lean forward while sitting on the toilet, with a straight back and your forearms on your thighs. Your feet should be raised so that your legs are angled slightly upward and away from your body. A footstool may help you to find the best angle.
  • Regular exercise .
  • Drinking plenty of water .
  • Eating plenty of high fibre foods. Fibre, the roughage in plant foods, increases the bulk and softness of stools, making them easier to pass. It may be that a medicine that you are taking is causing bowel problems. Avoid relying on laxatives and use them only when needed.

What can I do?

The above hints can be useful, if you have any concerns ask your doctor or continence advisor for help. For further information see: