The purpose of a bladder drill or timed voiding is to gradually:

  1. increase the amount of time between emptying your bladder,
  2. increase the amount of fluid your bladder can hold, and hopefully,
  3. diminish that sense of urgency and/or leakage associated with your problem. 

Keeping a diary of your bladder activity is helpful to monitor your progress.  Be sure to consult your physician about this problem before you begin the program.




It might be a good idea to start this approach to managing your problem on a weekend or when you plan to be at home or near a bathroom facility.  It is VERY important that you drink at least 4 to 6 glasses of fluid each day.  The bulk of this fluid should be water.  Drinking appropriate amounts of fluid daily and emptying your bladder at regular intervals helps decrease bladder infections.  Managing your problem by restricting fluid intake is counterproductive, and NOT recommended.


Some other suggestions regarding fluid intake:


  • Try to spread your fluid consumption out over the course of the day rather than consuming large amounts at one sitting and then going long periods of time without drinking.
  • Try to minimize fluid consumption after your evening meal.
  • Try to minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption.  Use only decaffeinated coffee, tea or soda when possible.




WEEK 1:               After awakening, empty your bladder every hour on the hour (even if you do NOT feel the need to go) Make sure you are drinking frequently.  During the night only go to the bathroom if you wake and find it necessary


WEEK 2:               Increase the time between emptying your bladder to every 1 1/2 hours, following the above fluid and night instructions.


WEEK 3:               Increase the time between emptying your bladder to every 2 hours, following the above fluid and night instructions.


WEEK 4:               Increase the time between emptying your bladder to every 2 1/2 hours, following the above fluid and night instructions.  Work up to voiding every 3 to 3 1/2 hours if you can.


If you can already hold your bladder longer than one hour, you do not need to start at Week 1.  Start at the point that is appropriate for you and work up from there.  Just remember:

·         increase your voiding intervals by no more than 30 minutes at a time

·         void regularly even if you do not feel the need to go

·         during the night, only go to the bathroom if you awaken and find it necessary.


You will be the best judge of how quickly you can advance to the next step.   These instructions are an outline which you can modify (for example, you may find it more comfortable to stretch from 1 to 1 1/4 hours).


You may also increase the pace of this sample schedule, depending on your individual symptoms and bladder capacity.  For example, you may increase the hourly increments every 5 days, instead of every 7 days.


A helpful hint: If you do feel that sense of urgency, try contracting your pelvic muscles quickly, one or two times.   Focus on relaxing all other muscles.  IF possible, sit until the sensation passes, then slowly make your way to the bathroom.


Using the diary during this bladder drill is also a good idea.  Keeping written records is often a helpful way to make behavioral changes by giving value to the effort being made.  It also charts the progress you have made.



                                                                                                                  BLADDER RETRAINING PROGRAM


You will learn 4 steps to help you improve your bladder control.  These 4 steps will be described in the printed material contained in the packet you receive.  All 4 will also be discussed in class.  If you have any questions regarding any of these steps once you are home, please feel free to call the office.


The 4 steps you will learn are:


  1. DOUBLE VOIDING: A technique used while voiding that ensures that you have fully emptied your bladder while on the toilet. This minimizes your chance of an accident or leakage later on.


  1. FLUID GUIDELINES: Fluid guidelines are provided to make sure that you are drinking the appropriate quantity and type of liquid during waking hours.


  1. TIMED VOIDING: Timed voiding is a method of bladder retraining; whereby you teach your bladder to go longer and longer periods of time between voiding without leakage or accidents in between.


  1. KEGEL EXERCISES: These are also called pelvic floor strengthening exercises and are designed to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor and around the urethra to allow you greater control of your voiding.

739 Irving Avenue - Suite 530 Syracuse, NY 13210 Tel: 315-478-1158 - Fax: 315-478-3014

site developed by laurieferger.com