Urge incontinence often comes in waves and without warning. The condition affects millions of people in the U.S. and can cause disruptions in one’s work, social and personal life. One effective way to manage this condition is bladder retraining.
This process involves creating a timed voiding schedule, which is essentially a schedule of when you’ll use the bathroom throughout the day. Timed voiding programs are designed to help people increase their bladder’s capacity to hold urine and to learn how to control sudden bladder spasms.
An overactive bladder (OAB) can cause great disruptions in one’s life. People with OAB experience frequent and sudden bladder spasms, and sometimes can’t even make it to the bathroom in time (urge incontinence). Overactive bladder can affect one’s work, relationships, social life and self-esteem. Fortunately there are many ways to treat the condition.
One way to treat overactive bladder is by using a vibrating watch and implementing a timed voiding program.
Previous research has shown that prompted voiding is the most effective technique for incontinence management. Caregivers encourage patients to use the bathroom on a regular schedule, which teaches the person to know when they need to empty their bladder. This helps reduce the frequency of incontinence accidents, amount of adult diapers used, and labor efforts of nurses and caregivers. This technique is commonly used with people with limited mobility or impaired cognitive abilities caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s Friday night and all you want to do after a long week of work is wind down in your cozy couch and watch a feel-good movie. Just five minutes into the film, your bladder starts to spasm. You try to ignore it and suppress the urge to go, but your bladder is relentless. You give in and pause the movie. Flash forward an hour later, and your bladder is back at it again. This time, you only have a few seconds to spare before making a big accident.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, you know it can be quite frustrating not to be able to sit through a complete movie without hitting pause a couple of times. You may be dealing with an overactive bladder (OAB), a treatable urological condition that causes sudden and frequent urges to urinate. People with OAB may also experience urge incontinence, in which involuntary urine leakage occurs because they can’t get to the bathroom in time. Continue reading
What is a bladder diary?
A bladder diary is essentially a daily record of your urination habits and activities that may have contributed to said habits. The diary should show:
- when and how much you urinate
- any urinary leakage you’ve experienced and what you were doing when it happened (e.g. running, biking, laughing)
- sudden urges to go
- how often you had to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom
- type and volume of food and drink intake
- any pain or problems experienced before, during, and after peeing (e.g. sudden urges, difficulty urinating, dribbling urine, feeling like your bladder is never empty, weak urine flow)
- if applicable, how many bladder pads or other incontinence products you used