What is normal?
On average your bladder can hold up to 2 cups of urine. In 24 hours, urinating 6-8 times or every 3-4 hours is considered normal. As you age the amount your bladder can hold can get smaller, causing increased frequency. Urinating more than 8 times in the daytime and more than twice at night should be evaluated
What are good bladder habits?
Don’t rush, strain or push when emptying your bladder. You should sit to urinate (unless the toilet is visibly soiled), this will help all the muscles in your pelvis to relax and improve bladder emptying. Avoid “just in case” urinating – when you go too often (more than every 2 hours) that can teach the bladder that is should be emptied before it is full. Don’t wait too long to urinate (typically longer than 4 hours, during the day). Limit caffeine, coffee, alcohol, artificial sweeteners – which can be bladder irritants and increase urinary urgency/frequency, even cause bladder pain. Stay well hydrated with water. Dehydration and concentrated urine can be problematic. Avoid constipation – when the rectum is full it can press on the bladder and contribute to urinary urgency or make it difficult to empty the bladder
How to help control the urge when it is not time to go:
There are muscles at the bottom of the pelvis, called pelvic floor (Kegel) muscles, which help support the bladder. Performing a few gentle Kegels can help inhibit the bladder contractions and lessen the urinary urgency, this can help the bladder relax. Avoid rushing to the bathroom, as this can cause the bladder to contract more. Slow down and walk calmly to the bathroom. Breathe slowly and deeply – this can help calm the mind and body
What if these strategies do not help?
Seek help for your bladder problem, you may have a treatable bladder condition such as an infection or prolapse. Many bladder conditions have non-surgical or minimally invasive treatments. Seek help if Kegels cause pain, you have something protruding through the vagina, you are struggling with bladder control, you see blood in your urine, or if you have bladder or pelvic pain – these may be signs of a more worrisome problem. Although these are very personal problems and can be difficult to discuss, our expert team prides itself in treating you in a very comfortable and professional manner.