If you’re experiencing bladder leakage, there are some effective strategies to help you regain bladder control. Timed voiding is a strategy that helps “retrain” the bladder so it doesn’t empty too frequently or urgently. The goal of timed voiding is to empty your bladder on a regular basis so accidents don’t occur. While that instruction seems easy to follow, these steps can help you be more successful.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Create a voiding schedule so that you use the bathroom about every two hours throughout the day.Try to avoid setting voiding times that would interfere with your daily schedule, such as during an important meeting or during your work commute. You may have to stretch or shorten intervals by 5 or 10 minutes to ensure you have access to a bathroom.
- Set a vibrating watch for a discreet reminder. Watches can be set to continually count down intervals or for certain times of the day. Most busy adults find that setting specific times that work with their personal schedule to be the easiest to follow.
- When the watch goes off, void even if you don’t feel the need to. If you feel a sudden urge before you’re scheduled to go, relax, stay still, and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds, and resist the urge to go. Holding it for short periods of time can help you increase your functional bladder capacity.
- If accidents don’t decrease after a week or two, try shortening the voiding intervals. For bladder protection, wear a Poise pad or Tena Guard.
Seeing results from a timed voiding program may take a few weeks. Be persistent and you may soon be controlling your bladder, rather than it control you. Good luck!