Recommended Bladder Habits

To keep your bladder healthy, you should:

  1. Practice good toilet habits
    • It is normal to go to the toilet 4-8 times a day and no more than twice at night
    • Try to avoid getting into the habit of going to the toilet “just in case”. Go to the toilet only when your bladder is feeling full and you need to go
    • It is a good idea to go to the toilet before you go to bed
    • Take your time emptying your bladder to allow it to fully empty. If you rush and do not empty your bladder fully, overtime you could develop a bladder infection
    • It is best to sit (not hover over the seat) when you go to the toilet
  2. Practice good bowel habits
    • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
    • Stay active
    • Do not strain when using your bowels. Straining can weaken your pelvic floor muscles
  3. Drink plenty of water
    • Try to consume at least 4-6 cups of water a day unless your doctor says this is too much
    • Cut down on the amount of caffeine, carbonated beverages and alcohol you consume
    • Limit (or omit) coffee, tea or cola from your diet. Instant coffee has less caffeine than brewed coffee. Tea has less caffeine than coffee
    • Stop smoking
  4. Take care of your pelvic floor muscles
    • Keep them strong with pelvic floor exercises and training
    • Pick up a Pelvic Floor Muscle Training sheet for men or for women
    • Have your doctor or continence nurse review your training techniques to make sure you are using your muscles the right way
  5. Seek help from your doctor or provider if you:
    • Wet yourself, even a few drops, when you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand, lift or do sports or other physical activity
    • Have an urgent need to pass urine, have a strong feeling of not being able to hold on, or often times don’t get to the toilet in time
    • Pass small amounts of urine often and regularly, more than 8 times per day in small amounts (less than about what a tea cup holds)
    • Have to get up more than twice during the night to go to pass urine
    • Wet the bed over the age of 5 years
    • Have trouble starting your stream of urine, or have a stream that stops and starts rather than a smooth flow
    • Strain to pass urine
    • Strain to have a bowel movement
    • Have burning while passing urine
    • Feel that your bladder is not empty when you have passed urine
    • Have to give up the things you enjoy such as walking, aerobics, exercising or dancing because of poor bladder or bowel control
    • Have any changes in your regular bladder habits that you are concerned about