GOOD BLADDER HABITS FOR EVERYONE
HINTS TO KEEP YOUR BLADDER HEALTHY
Step 1 - Use good toilet habits
- It is normal to go to the toilet 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night.
- Don’t get into the habit of going to the toilet “just in case.” Try to go to the toilet only when your bladder is full and you need to go. (Going to the toilet before you go to bed is fine).
- Take your time so that your bladder can empty. If you rush, and do not empty your bladder fully, over time, you could get a bladder infection.
- Women should sit to go to the toilet. Do not hover over the toilet seat.
Step 2 - Keep good bowel habits
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and stay active to keep your bowels regular.
- Do not strain when using your bowels as this can weaken your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that help your bladder).
Step 3 - Drink plenty of water
- Drink 6 to 8 cups of water each day unless your doctor says this is not okay.
- Cut down on how much caffeine and alcohol you drink. These may upset your bladder. Do not drink too much coffee, tea or cola. Instant coffee has less caffeine than brewed coffee. Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
Step 4 - Look after your pelvic floor muscles
- Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training.
- You can get a Pelvic Floor Muscle Training leaflet for Men, or for Women.
- See your doctor, physiotherapist or continence nurse to check that you are training your muscles the right way.
Step 5 - Seek help from your doctor, physiotherapist or bladder control advisor if you:
- wet yourself, even a few drops, when you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand, lift or do sports or other activity;
- have an urgent need to pass urine, have a strong feeling of not being able to hold on, or often don’t get to the toilet in time;
- pass small amounts of urine, often and regularly. That is more than 8 times per day in small amounts (less than about what a tea cup holds);
- have to get up more than twice in the night to pass urine;
- wet the bed over the age of five years;
- have trouble starting your stream of urine, or
- have a stream that stops and starts instead of a smooth flow;
- strain to pass urine;
- feel that your bladder is not empty when you have passed urine;
- have burning or pain while passing urine;
- have to give up things you enjoy like walking, aerobics or dancing because of poor bladder or bowel control; or
- have any change in your regular bladder habits that you are worried about.
GOOD BLADDER HABITS CAN HELP IMPROVE BLADDER CONTROL
You need good bladder habits for a healthy life.
Poor bladder habits can lead to poor bladder control, and even wetting yourself. Here are some easy steps that everyone can take to keep a healthy bladder.
If you do nothing it won’t go away. And it might get worse.
Every bladder or bowel control problem, no matter how small, needs to be looked after. There is almost always something that can be done to help.
Call Expert Advisors on the National Continence Helpline for free:
- advice; and
On FREE CALL* 1800 33 00 66 (8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday), or
Visit this website: www.bladderbowel.gov.au
The Helpline is funded under the Commonwealth Government’s National Continence Management Strategy and managed by the Continence Foundation of Australia.
* Calls from mobile telephones are charged at applicable rates.
NATIONAL CONTINENCE HELPLINE 1800 33 00 66 | www.bladderbowel.gov.au | October 2010