Updated: Jun 17, 2022
Keeping your Bladder Happy
A normal bladder can hold up to 2 cups of urine comfortably
For women, bladder voids are 6-8 times per day, men maybe slightly less.
As we age, bladder capacity may reduce and we may need to empty more often, but every two hours should still be sufficient
Nocturia, or waking to empty the bladder at night, is when you get up more than 2x a night (we like zero wakings at night to void)
You should never strain or push to empty the bladder. Be relaxed, lean forward to help empty.
Urgency happens when the bladder is stretched during filling. An urge is a signal to go to the restroom but is not a command. You can be taught to control urgency.
Drinking water may actually reduce urinary leakage. Maintain good hydration habits. Drinking half your body weight, in ounces of water, herbal tea, non-caffeinated and non-carbonated beverages reduces the acidity of the urine and helps keep the bladder healthy.
Alcohol and coffee may sabotage your bladder. But good news, hydrate with water a full glass prior to enjoying your cocktail or java and the irritating substances will be reduced.
Constipation may also irritate the bladder. Maintain a balanced diet of dietary fiber and drinking enough water will help maintain good bowel emptying habits.
Optimal Bladder Habits
Do not rush emptying your bladder, sit down and/or lean forward, breathe deeply and relax the pelvic floor muscles to signal a release of the bladder. Be sure to get a full emptying of the bladder prior to leaving the toilet. For men who prefer to stand, lean forward when releasing your muscles to urinate.
Try not to go “just in case” or empty the bladder prior to 2 hours after last void. This may teach the bladder to not fill all the way. It is ideal to ignore urgency prior to the 2-hour interval to retrain the bladder to fill normally and empty normally. This reduces strong urgency sensations.
Waiting more than 3-4 hours to empty the bladder may not be good for the bladder either. This is a major cause of leakage and urinary incontinence. Do not set yourself up for failure!