Your bladder is meant to be a reservoir, and it should be able to hold enough that you would need to pee every 2-3 hours you’re awake.
If you’re usually going more often than that, or are always needing to know where the toilet is wherever you go, it is possible to train your bladder to be a better reservoir by using your pelvic floor muscles.
How Can You Train Your Bladder?
What is Normal?
It would be typical to urinate 5-8 times each day, and not at all through night unless you’re over 65. Each time you use the toilet you should have a good stream that lasts at least 8 seconds, which would be more than 200ml of urine.
What is “Overactive” Bladder?
The bladder can become irritable or “overactive”, making you pee more often. This could be due to habit, if you often empty the bladder before it is full. If your bladder never fills up, it doesn’t ever expand and can become smaller over time. But this can be reversed! You can use your pelvic floor muscles to train your bladder to hold more urine before you need to pee.
It is important that you first get checked by your family doctor, as there can be medical reasons for experiencing urinary frequency or urgency. If there is no underlying medical issue, you can get some help from a pelvic health physiotherapist who has advanced training in working with pelvic floor muscles and other structures in that area.
What to Do?
If you feel you need to urinate more than every 2 hours, try not to go with the first urge you feel.
When You Do Feel the Urge to Pee
- be still (standing or sitting) and tighten up through your pelvic floor muscles
- try to distract your brain at the same time with something else
Doing this can help settle down the urge to urinate. If after a minute or two you still need to go, try to walk to the toilet slowly. If the urge to pee has settled down, try to delay going until you feel an urge again. Over time you are trying to lengthen the time between visits to the toilet.