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The Simon Foundation for Continence

Bladder Retraining

For some reason, bladder retraining is not often discussed with patients. So here is a bit of information about what it is. I encourage comments from any of you have tried it.

Bladder retraining is a potential tool for helping with an overactive bladder. It doesn't work for everyone, but can be very helpful for others. You need to make sure with your physician that this is something you can try - if you never have before and to make sure you do not have a UTI (urinary tract infection). This method also needs patience and you have to be diligent about watching your time intervals.

There are a few different ways to retrain the bladder, but one of the easiest ways is to begin by urinating every hour, on the hour. (If you can’t hold it for one hour, pick a time that you can easily manage such as twenty or thirty minutes.) Go to the bathroom and try to completely empty your bladder at regular times all day while you are awake.

Each week, gradually increase the time between voiding by 15 minutes. Continue to do this until you reach a length of time that is reasonable for your lifestyle and healthy for your body. Do not try to hold your bladder for more than four hours at a time.

Bladder retraining is a non-invasive treatment that can be used for overactive bladder – if the urge leads to leaking, the leak is called urge incontinence - and for people with mixed incontinence (both stress urinary incontinence and urge incontinence). While you may not get completely dry with this technique, it may greatly reduce your trips to the bathroom and some of your leaks.

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This is good advice if you can do it and it can help with overactive bladder. I have had this condition since childhood and only recently made a bit more progress with a combination of bladder retraining and medication. Good luck everyone.

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