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Good bladder habits can help improve bladder control

You need good bladder habits for a healthy life.

Poor bladder habits can lead to poor bladder control, and even wetting yourself. Here are some easy steps that everyone can take to keep a healthy bladder.



Hints to keep your bladder healthy

Step 1 – Use good toilet habits

  • It is normal to go to the toilet 4 to 8 times a day and no more than twice a night.
  • Don’t get into the habit of going to the toilet “just in case.” Try to go to the toilet only when your bladder is full and you need to go. (Going to the toilet before you go to bed is fine).
  • Take your time so that your bladder can empty. If you rush, and do not empty your bladder fully, over time, you could get a bladder infection.
  • Women should sit to go to the toilet. Do not hover over the toilet seat.


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Step 2 – Keep good bowel habits

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and stay active to keep your bowels regular.
  • Do not strain when using your bowels as this can weaken your pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that help your bladder and bowel control).

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Step 3 – Drink plenty of water

  • Drink 1.5 - 2 litres of fluid each day unless your doctor says this is not okay.
  • Cut down on how much caffeine and alcohol you drink. These may upset your bladder. Do not drink too much coffee, tea or cola. Instant coffee has less caffeine than brewed coffee. Tea has less caffeine than coffee.

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Step 4 – Look after your pelvic floor muscles

  • Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with pelvic floor muscle training.
  • You can get a Pelvic Floor Muscle Training leaflet for Men, or for Women.
  • See your doctor, physiotherapist or continence nurse to check that you are training your muscles the right way.

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Step 5 – Seek help from your doctor, physiotherapist or continence nurse if you:

  • wet yourself, even a few drops, when you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand, lift or do sports or other activity;
  • have an urgent need to pass urine, have a strong feeling of not being able to hold on, or often don’t get to the toilet in time;
  • pass small amounts of urine, often and regularly. That is more than 8 times per day in small amounts (less than about what a tea cup holds);
  • have to get up more than twice in the night to pass urine;
  • wet the bed over the age of five years;
  • have trouble starting your stream of urine, or have a stream that stops and starts instead of a smooth flow;
  • strain to pass urine;
  • feel that your bladder is not empty when you have passed urine;
  • have burning or pain while passing urine;
  • have to give up things you enjoy like walking, aerobics or dancing because of poor bladder or bowel control; or
  • have any change in your regular bladder habits that you are worried about.

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Seek help

Qualified nurses are available if you call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66* (Monday to Friday, between 8.00am to 8.00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time) for free:

  • Information;
  • Advice; and
  • Leaflets.

If you have difficulty speaking or understanding English you can access the Helpline through the free Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50. The phone will be answered in English, so please name the language you speak and wait on the phone. You will be connected to an interpreter who speaks your language. Tell the interpreter you wish to call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66. Wait on the phone to be connected and the interpreter will assist you to speak with a continence nurse advisor. All calls are confidential.

* Calls from mobile telephones are charged at applicable rates.


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Last Updated: Fri 30, Jul 2021
Last Reviewed: Tue 17, Mar 2020