Training is an important form of behavior therapy that can be effective
in treating urinary incontinence.
are to increase the amount of time between emptying your bladder and the
amount of fluids your bladder can hold. It can also diminish the sense
of urgency and/or leakage associated with the problem.
training requires that a fixed voiding schedule be established, whether
or not the urge to urinate is present. If urge occurs before the assigned
interval, urge suppression techniques (such as relaxation and Kegel exercises)
should be used. As success is achieved the interval is lengthened in 15
to 30 minute increments until it is possible to remain comfortable for
3 or 4 hours. This goal can be individualized to suit each woman's needs
a diary of your bladder activity is very important. This helps your health
care provider determine the correct place to start the training and to
monitor your progress throughout your program.
your bladder as soon as you get up in the morning. This act starts your
- Go to
the bathroom at the specific times you and your health care provider
have discussed. Wait the full amount of time before you urinate again
AND when it is your scheduled time. Be sure to empty your bladder even
if you feel no urge to urinate. Follow the schedule during waking hours
ONLY. During the nighttime go to the bathroom only if you awaken and
find it necessary.
- A helpful
hint: When the urge to urinate is felt before the next designated time,
use "urge suppression" techniques or try relaxation techniques like
deep breathing. Focus on relaxing all other muscles. If possible, sit
down until the sensation passes. If the urge is suppressed, adhere to
the schedule. If you cannot suppress the urge, wait 5 minutes then slowly
make your way to the bathroom-then re-establish the schedule. Repeat
this process every time an urge is felt. When you have accomplished
your initial goal, gradually increase the time between emptying your
bladder by 15 minute intervals. Try to increase your interval each week,
but you will be the best judge of how quickly you can advance to the
next step. Increase the time between each urination until you reach
a 3-4 hour voiding interval.
- It should
take between 6 to 12 weeks to accomplish your ultimate goal. Don't be
discouraged by set-backs. You may find you have good days and bad days.
As you continue bladder retraining you will start to notice more and
more good days, so keep practicing.
- You will
hasten your success by doing your pelvic muscles exercises faithfully
every day. Your diaries will help you see your progress and identify
your problem times.
- The UCSF
Women's Continence Center is here to help and support you. Be sure to
keep your regularly schedule visits. If you need more help, medication
and other treatments are available and may be useful.