Bladder Training Techniques for Urinary Incontinence

How Does Bladder Training Help Urinary Incontinence?

When someone has urinary incontinence, they often lose control over their bladder muscles, resulting in an urge to use the bathroom immediately. In other cases, a person may experience urinary leaks and soil their undergarments. This can often lead to discomfort and sometimes embarrassment for the individual.

Bladder training can be an effective way to treat urinary incontinence. It is an exercise that can help train your bladder muscles and reduce trips to the bathroom. The goal of bladder training is to increase the amount of time in between emptying your bladder and the amount of urine your bladder can hold. This means fewer urges to use the restroom and avoiding bladder leaks. Partaking in bladder training exercises can help improve symptoms of urinary incontinence and thus lead to a better quality of life.

What is Bladder Training? How Is Bladder Training Done?

Bladder training is the process of strengthening the bladder muscles. It is a form of behavioral therapy to help individuals with urinary incontinence gian control over the urge to urinate.This is accomplished through a fixed schedule of going to the bathroom, even if you do not feel the urge to pee. Using the bathroom on a scheduled basis can help reduce frequent trips to the bathroom and teach an individual to use urge suppression techniques - such as relaxation and Kegel exercises

How Do I Train My Bladder To Empty Completely?

The following techniques can help train your bladder to empty completely:

  • Use the bathroom on a scheduled basis
  • Drink plenty of fluids to generate more urine
  • Empty your bladder until you feel there is none left in the bladder
  • Lean forward in a rocking motion to induce urination
  • Contract your bladder and pelvic muscles during urination
  • Ensure you are in a comfortable and private bathroom
  • Practice kegel exercises on a daily basis

Bladder Retraining Instructions

  1. As soon as you awake in the morning, use the bathroom and empty your bladder
  2. During the day, go to the bathroom at the specific times you and your health care provider have discussed
  3. Wait until your next scheduled time before going to the bathroom and be sure to empty your bladder even if you feel no urge to urinate
  4. At night, go to the bathroom only if you awaken and find it necessary
  5. If you feel the urge to urinate before the next scheduled time, use “urge suppression” techniques or deep breathing exercise to relax and get rid of the sensations to urinate
  6.  If you cannot suppress the urge to urinate, wait five minutes and then go to the bathroom
  7. Gradually increase the wait times before going to the bathroom and emptying your bladder by 15 minute intervals, eventually hour intervals with more practice
  8. The ultimate goal is 3 to 4 hour intervals between bathroom breaks

How Do I Know If Bladder Training Is Working?

You will know if bladder training is working based on your ability to hold in urine and frequency of using the bathroom. When beginning bladder training, it is important to start at shorter time intervals - around 15 to 30 minutes. As you gain more control over your bladder muscles, you can gradually increase the time in between bathroom breaks - ideally between three to four hours. Of course, this depends on your comfort levels. If you absolutely need to use the bathroom, go ahead and use it to avoid bladder leaks. 

It should take between six to 12 weeks to improve bladder function. Remember, do not be discouraged by setbacks. There may be days you find yourself using the bathroom more frequently than other days. Be easy on yourself and try again to reach your time interval goals. You should also keep a diary of your bladder activity to track your progress. This allows you to have records to share with your healthcare provider so they can further recommend techniques and exercises. 

Helpful Incontinence Products for Bladder Training

Some helpful products for bladder training include panty liners, incontinence pads, and underpads with adhesive strips. These products can help absorb bladder leaks and keep your clothes and furniture dry, Using these incontinence products during bladder training can help reduce clean up times when accidents happen.

San Pablo Commercial is a family-owned, small business with a mission to deliver affordable medical supplies to their customers and caregivers. We offer a variety of incontinence products, ranging from SPC underpads, adult diaper briefs, reusable protective underwear, sanitary pads, absorbent liners, and disposable bed pads with adhesive. We ship directly to residential homes, home health care facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and senior living communities within 2 to 3 business days. We care deeply about our customers and want to make ordering incontinence supplies easier so that they can spend more time doing the things they love.


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