Overactive bladder is a problem with bladder storage function causing a sudden urge to urinate. This urge may be difficult to suppress, and can lead to the involuntary leakage of urine also known as urge urinary incontinence. Symptoms of overactive bladder may include urinary frequency, which is urinating eight or more times within a 24 hour period. You may also experience nocturia awakening two or more times at night to urinate.
Some patients are able to make behavioral changes in their day-to-day life to alleviate bladder control problems. Typically, we recommend each patient suffering from urinary incontinence attempt behavioral modifications first to avoid medications or surgery. The first step in behavioral modification is to keep a voiding diary, which will help us get a better understanding of your voiding patterns over a 3 day period of time. We will give you a voiding diary during your first visit to our specialty center.
Excessive Fluid Intake
Your voiding diary may tell us that you tend to leak after you consume a high volume of fluids. Drinking too much fluid of any kind makes you urinate more often. Drinking too much fluid over a short period of time can overwhelm your bladder and create a strong sense of urgency.
Bladder training or timed voiding involves adjusting your voiding habits by going on a set schedule even if you do not have the urge to urinate gradually increasing the time between urination. This allows your bladder to fill more fully and gives you more control over the urge to urinate. We will use the results of your voiding diary to come up with a schedule for your bladder training.
Extending the time between your urination intervals involves using your bladder diary to come up with an approximate amount of time that goes by in between the time that you void. The point of this exercise is to extend that interval by 10 minutes, so if you go to the restroom every 80 minutes then you must go every 90 minutes instead. If you ever feel like you are going to have an accident, do not wait for your scheduled voiding time.
The next step is to gradually increase the interval of time between your trips to the restroom. Your goal is to continue lengthening this interval until you reach intervals of two to four hours. Please be patient as it may take some time to reach these goals.