If you are one who knows where every bathroom is located, you can’t get into the house fast enough and you leak a little trying to get there, you get up 2 or more times to pee during the night, you can “hold it for 6 hours at a time or you pee for a long time when on the toilet, then you may not have the healthiest of bladder habits! Here are the goals you should set for yourself

Bladder Function Goals

Fluid intake

6-8 glasses at 8 oz/24 hour period (Total 48-64)

With vomiting or diarrhea, add more water

FDA recommends ½ oz/pound of body weight

0-1 irritating fluids per day (Caffeine, alcohol, or acidic drinks like soda)


Voiding Frequency

8 or less voids in 24 hours

General population: 3-5 hours between voids

Elderly: 2-3 hours

“Old” elderly: 2 hours

Nocturia (night time voiding)

General population: 0-1X/night

Elderly: 0-2X/night

“Old” elderly: 1-2X/night

Drinking goals

When drinking, sip, sip, sip. Don’t gulp or guzzle. Stop drinking 3 hours before you go to bed and make sure you go to the bathroom right before you climb in bed. The kidneys process 1-14 ml or up to ½ oz/minute. If you aren’t drinking enough or you are sweating more, then you process closer to lower end of the 1-14 ml scale. If you are drinking an adequate amount throughout the day, you will process on the higher end of the scale. Your bladder registers “full” between 400-600 ml (13-20 oz) although it can hold more than that. Some folks can hold up to 40 oz which is not healthy nor is being able to hold it “all day”!

Bad urination habits affect quality of life

Poor bladder habits can lead to dysfunction of the pelvis affecting your quality of life and how tolerant your friends and family will be of you having to go every 20 minutes. If you delay urinating for too long, you can develop an overstretched bladder which will affect how strong your bladder emptying will be and how your brain registers urge. If you develop the habit of going “just in case”, your bladder becomes trained to react with any urge to go while in fact the bladder is not actually full. Hovering over the toilet instead of just sitting all the way on the seat causes tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor making it difficult for the sphincters to remain open and relaxed to allow urine or feces to pass. Getting up at night to urinate decreases sleep quality and may increase your risk of falling should you trip over the dog or your slippers in the dark. It is important to note that your perception of how full the bladder is can be affected by your state of mind. You will experience more urgency with anxiety and conversely may find that being distracted decreases your urgency. Distraction is a great way to teach yourself to withhold voiding if you are one who goes too frequently.