Overactive bladder

Bladder Re-training

The aim of bladder re-training is to learn to ‘hold on’ and ignore the urge to pass urine. In time, the bladder muscle should become less irritable. Eventually, a more normal pattern of going to the toilet is achieved, so that you don’t have to go so often or in such a rush. Learning to ‘hold on’ may take you several weeks or even months.

To start bladder re-training you should start by making a note of the times you have to go to the toilet each day and any leakage. This will tell you how much your bladder can hold and how frequently you need to pass urine.

You can either make a chart yourself or we have printed charts available (please ask). The following should be recorded:

·         The time

·         The volume of urine you pass in a jug

·         Any accidental leakage

·         The amount and type of drinks you have

Once you know how long the interval is between passing urine currently, then you can start to ‘hold on’ for an extra few minutes to begin with. This will seem difficult a first. Once you can manage a few minutes, then try ‘holding on’ for 5 minutes. Once you can mange that try ‘holding on’ for 10minutes; then 15; 20......... and so on. The aim would be to passing urine no more than 5-6 times in a whole day. That is passing urine every 3-4 hours. The volume of the urine should increase, so that you are passing at least 200mls each time.

REMEMBER, it does take patience and time

To help

·         Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol

·         Practise pelvic floor exercises regularly (Pulling up strongly on the pelvic floor will help suppress the overactivity and help prevent leakage)

·         Distraction techniques may help, like reading, etc.

·         Some people find sitting on a hard seat; others standing