The normal frequency of urination is every 2-4 hours (aside from when you’re sleeping). This means on average, you should only be going to the bathroom 8-10 times during the day.
The bladder is a muscle that is designed to stretch to store up to 500-700 ml of urine. You’ll start to feel a sensation that you need to urinate at about 40% of your bladder capacity. Don’t misinterpret this sensation though, because this is not actually the time to go to the bathroom and this sensation should easily be disregarded. Your bladder will start to give you a stronger signal to urinate at about 60% capacity. This is the time that it is more appropriate to find the bathroom to relieve yourself, but you can still ignore this signal if needed (no bathroom in sight). You’ll get another even stronger, more persistent signal from your bladder once it is about 90% full. This is definitely the time to go if you haven’t already gone!
Do you feel like this is something you struggle with and find yourself spending too much time going to the bathroom every day? Here are some tips to try if you’re experiencing this to improve your bladder health:
Pay attention to your bladder’s signals. Don’t go when you feel that first sensation. Your bladder can store way more urine than that and this won’t help prevent leakage if you’re experiencing leakage.
Try distraction techniques. Create your shopping list or count backward from 100 by 3s.
Keep a bladder diary to know exactly how often you’re going. Use this information to help create a consistent schedule. For example, if you’re going once every hour, try to push it so that you are going every 1 hour and 15 minutes. Slowly try to increase the amount of time until you can comfortably make it to every 2 hours.
Limit foods or drinks that cause you to go more frequently- acidic foods/drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks are just a few.
Tried these things and you’re still struggling with urinary frequency? Give us a call to schedule your pelvic floor PT appointment at our Chicago – Lakeshore East location!