Healthy bladder and bowel habits

Do you have healthy bladder habits?

  • Fill out a sample bladder diary to better understand what your fluid intake and voiding habits
  • Does your bladder fill to approximately 300–400 ml before emptying? Measure the volume voided to find out.
  • Do you empty your bladder approximately every 3-4 hours?  If you empty your bladder more frequently, try to defer the urge by 15 minutes or more to progressively increase the intervals between voids.
  • Is the urine a light lemon or clear colour?  If the urine is dark yellow you are likely not drinking enough water.  Concentrated urine is thought to irritate the bladder and aggravate symptoms of urgency and frequency.
  • Are you emptying your bladder fully?  Avoid straining to fully empty your bladder fully- this puts excessive downward pressure on the pelvic floor.   Instead, lean forwards, stand up and sit down again, or shift your body from side-to-side to assist with complete emptying.

Do you have healthy bowel habits?

Avoid straining to empty your bowels — this puts tremendous pressure on your pelvic floor! The tips below may help to protect the pelvic floor:

  • attempt evacuation after a meal
  • sit on the toilet with your feet on a footstool (knees higher than hips)
  • lean forwards to rest your forearms on your thighs
  • relax the anal sphincter
  • exhale gently into a closed fist
  • apply a gentle inwards pressure on your abdomen

If this doesn’t work, re-attempt evacuation at a later time!