What is overactive bladder?
The bladder is a muscle which contracts to empty the bladder when it is full and you are ready to empty. An overactive bladder means the bladder contracts before it is full. It can sometimes contract when you are not ready. You might go to the toilet often and find it hard to hold on until you get there. At times you may leak urine on the way to the toilet.
What causes overactive bladder?
Poor bladder control may be due to health problems, such as:
An overactive bladder can be due to poor bladder habits over a long time.
For some people the cause is unknown.
What are normal bladder habits?
It is normal to:
A healthy bladder holds about 1.5 to 2 cups of urine. This is equal to 300 - 400mls. Your bladder holds this much during the day. It holds more during the night, before you feel the need to pass urine.
This pattern may change in older people. Older people may make more urine at night. This means they may have to pass more urine through the night than they do in the day.
What is bladder training?
The aim of bladder training is to improve symptoms of overactive bladder. Bladder training teaches you how to hold more urine in your bladder without feelings of urgency. Visit your doctor, a continence nurse advisor or continence physiotherapist if you have some problems with bladder control. They could start you on a bladder training program. If you do nothing about your problem, it may get worse.
What is in a bladder training program?
You may be asked to keep a bladder diary. You need to keep the diary for at least 3 days. It keeps track of how your bladder works through the day.
The bladder diary keeps track of:
The bladder diary may look something like this:
How do I measure the amount of urine passed?
Put a container (like an ice cream container) in the toilet. Now sit on the toilet and relax with your feet on the floor. Pass urine into the container. Then tip the urine into a jug to measure it. Men may want to stand and pass urine directly into a measuring jug.
How do I measure urgency?
This chart shows how to use a number to describe the urge you felt.
How do I measure leaking using a Pad Weight Test?
This test helps to work out how much urine you leak over a few days. To do this test you will need some accurate scales for weighing. You do this test by:
This will show how much you have leaked because each gram equals one ml.
Who can help with your bladder training program?
A doctor, continence nurse advisor or continence physiotherapist can get the best results for you. They will work out a program to suit you.
Some of these continence health professionals may be in a private practice clinic. Others work in clinics in your local community health service. They also work in public hospital clinics. The National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66 can help you find your local continence clinic.
有些排便节制医护专家可能在私人诊所问诊。另一些会在您当地社区健康服务诊所。他们也会在公共医院诊所工作。全国排便节制帮助热线1800 33 00 66能帮助您找到您当地的排便节制诊所。
How long will it take?
Most bladder training programs take about 3 months. You may have regular meetings with your continence nurse advisor or continence physiotherapist. They will teach you ways to hold on for longer. This will mean you can hold more urine in your bladder.
Some helpful things you will learn from the program
Pelvic Floor Muscle Training
The continence physiotherapist or continence nurse advisor will teach you how to use your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your bladder and urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside. Strong pelvic floor muscles help to hold back the strong urge to pass urine. This will help you hold on until you reach the toilet.
Good Bladder Habits
It is normal to consume between 1.5 - 2 litres of fluid per day unless your doctor says this is not okay. This way your bladder will slowly learn to stretch to hold more urine. You need to keep track of how much you drink each day. To do this you will need to know how much your cup or mug holds. Cups can hold from 120 to 180mls whereas mugs can hold 280 to 300mls or more.
Avoid drinking fizzy drinks or drinks with caffeine. These can upset the bladder and make it harder for you to hold on. There is some caffeine in chocolate, tea and coffee. There is more caffeine in cola and sports drinks. It is best to avoid drinking these.
You will learn which drinks to choose so your bladder will not be upset.
Good Bowel Habits
You will also learn how constipation and straining to pass a bowel motion can stretch your pelvic floor muscles. Avoid constipation as this also causes poor bladder control. Eat at least 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily. Eat high fibre bread as well.
Will there be setbacks?
Do not be worried by small day to day changes in your bladder control. These are normal. Anyone on a bladder training program can have setbacks, when your symptoms may seem worse. This may happen when:
If set-backs do happen, do not lose heart. Stay positive and keep trying.
You are not alone. Poor bladder and bowel control can be cured or better managed with the right treatment. If you do nothing, it might get worse.
Phone expert advisors on the National Continence Helpline for free:
1800 33 00 66 *
(8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST)
To arrange for an interpreter through the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS), phone 13 14 50 Monday to Friday and ask for the National Continence Helpline. Information in other languages is also available from continence.org.au/other-languages
For more information:
* Calls from mobiles are charged at applicable rates.
请拨打National Continence Helpline致电专家顾问获得免费的：
1800 33 00 66 *
(早上8点 – 晚上8点周一至周五澳洲东部时间)
如需通过电话口译服务（TIS）安排一位口译员，请在周一至周五拨打电话13 14 50，并要求接通National Continence Helpline。您还可以从网站上获得中文信息continence.org.au/other-languages