Women’s Health Spot… Healthy bowel and bladder habits

It is normal to go 4-6 times a day to urinate and no more than twice at night time. Good bladder habits are important for life.

 
Follow these simple steps to help achieve your healthy bladder and bowel:
 
1. USE THE CORRECT TOILET POSTURE: Knees higher than hips, lean forward, elbows on knees and use a footstool if needed.
2. EAT WELL: Eating a diet rich in fibre helps regulate your bowel. We need about 30gms of fibre per day which equates to 2 serves of fruit, 5 serves of vegetable or 5 serves of cereals and breads. It is important to prevent constipation to prevent strain through your pelvic floor which can lead to weakening. A healthy balanced diet will also help to maintain a healthy body weight.
3. DRINK WELL: Aim for 1.5 to 2L of fluid per day. Caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks are all bladder stimulants so limit intake of these, water is usually the best fluid to drink. If you are drinking enough your urine should be a pale lemon colour.
4. EXERCISE REGULARLY: Aim for…
 

It is normal to go 4-6 times a day to urinate and no more than twice at night time. Good bladder habits are important for life.

 
Follow these simple steps to help achieve your healthy bladder and bowel:
  1. USE THE CORRECT TOILET POSTURE: Knees higher than hips, lean forward, elbows on knees, and use a footstool if needed.
  2. EAT WELL: Eating a diet rich in fibre helps regulate your bowel. We need about 30gms of fibre per day which equates to 2 serves of fruit, 5 serves of vegetable or 5 serves of cereals and breads. It is important to prevent constipation to prevent strain through your pelvic floor which can lead to weakening. A healthy balanced diet will also help to maintain a healthy body weight.
  3. DRINK WELL: Aim for 1.5 to 2L of fluid per day. Caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks are all bladder stimulants so limit intake of these, water is usually the best fluid to drink. If you are drinking enough your urine should be a pale lemon colour.
  4. EXERCISE REGULARLY: Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day.  Walking is great form of exercise.  This will help to maintain a healthy body weight and tone your pelvic floor muscles.
  5. KEEP YOUR PELVIC FLOOR TONED: It is important to exercise your pelvic floor as this gives us control over our bladder and bowel.  Straining to open bowels due to constipation, pregnancy and childbirth, coughing, being overweight and heavy lifting can all add stress to the pelvic floor muscles. If you are not sure how to activate your pelvic floor then a Women’s Health Physiotherapist will be able to help.
  6. PRACTICE GOOD TOILET HABITS: Only aim to go to the toilet when your bladder feels full and avoid going ‘just in case’.  Similarly aim to open your bowels when you feel the urge to go and try and avoid putting it off as this can lead to constipation.
If you notice any of the following symptoms then seek help from your doctor or Women’s Health Physiotherapist:
 
  • Wetting yourself, even a few drops, when you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand, lift or exercise
  • 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 to give up things you enjoy like walking, aerobics or dancing because of poor bladder or bowel control