Bladder Habits: Fun Facts & Healthy Habits

Bladder Habits: Fun Facts & Healthy Habits

When we’re young, our first big achievement is mastering the art of going potty. Parents are both proud and relieved, while children gain a new level of confidence and independence. However, as we move into adulthood, it is not uncommon for us to adopt some unhealthy bladder habits. These unhealthy bladder habits can cause the all-too-familiar symptom of urinary urgency and increased frequency. Here are some fun facts about what is normal and not normal for bladder habits:

1. Frequency. The normal number of times for urination is approximately 5-10 times per day and no more than 1-2 times per night. If you’re toileting more than 10 times per day, you may be training your bladder to hold less urine, causing that familiar “gotta go right now” signal to occur before the bladder is actually full.

2. No more going ‘just in case’. People tend to toilet when they don’t actually have to go, usually to accommodate their busy lifestyle or their dislike for public toilets. However, going ‘just in case’ is how the bladder learns to hold less urine. If it never gets the chance to fill, it won’t be able to hold as much urine, and you’ll find yourself frequenting the toilet too often. That first sensation to urinate is a signal and not a command. Wait for a bit (if you’re able) and allow the bladder fill up a little more. If urgency is a concern, then seeing a pelvic health physical therapist can help with that.

3. Refrain from “speed peeing”. This day in age, it’s difficult to relax much less spend precious moments in the restroom. However, when we bear down to urinate as quickly as possible, we are causing increased pressure on the pelvic floor muscles (over time, this can cause issues). Sit back. Relax. Breathe. Allow your pelvic floor muscles to release urine as they are able. A healthy urine stream should be consistent, easy to begin, and easy to stop.

4. Drink water! This seems obvious, but folks who urinate too much or struggle with urinary incontinence hesitate to stay hydrated during the day. Water can help maintain healthy bladder tissue and bladder habits. A happy bladder can hold 1.5-2 cups of urine comfortably (which is quite a bit of urine!).

5. Caffeine. No one likes to hear this, but unfortunately, coffee and caffeine can irritate the bladder. If you think your morning cup (or pot) of joe is causing some bladder irritation, don’t feel pressured to cut coffee out completely. Maybe try starting with reducing your intake by just 20% and take note if your bladder responds favorably. Depending on the level of bladder irritability, moderation of bladder irritants is key for regulating bladder signaling.

If your curiosity is piqued, fill out this bladder diary for three days. It’ll give you important information on your bladder habits and maybe even highlight important trends (for better or worse) that you didn’t otherwise notice. If you would like expert guidance with improving your bladder habits call our Seattle, WA clinic today to schedule with our pelvic health specialist, Kelsea Cannon, PT.

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Covid-19 Notice

06/09/2020 Covid-19 Notice:

Our clinics are open for in-clinic physical therapy visits, telemedicine physical therapy visits and virtual Pilates sessions. This allows us to comply as much as possible with the phased reopening of WA State, while also meeting our obligation as essential infrastructure workers. For in clinic treatment, the PT will wear a mask and patient needs to wear a mask of their own, social distancing is observed throughout the clinic and rigorous cleaning guidelines will be followed. At times during your treatment, it may not be possible for your PT to observe social distancing, such as during certain manual therapy techniques. The need for in-clinic treatment vs. telehealth treatment will be a joint determination between you and your PT. You may review our Covid-19 Exposure Control, Mitigation and Recovery Plan for the details of how we provide safe in-person care.

We are grateful for and support all of our clients who have been able to march and protest in support of Black Lives Matter. In order to continue to provide the safest clinic experience possible for our clients and providers, we are asking that any client who has participated in a march or protest do one of the following: 1.) Switch to telehealth visits for 14 days. 2.) Get tested for Covid-19 and provide us with negative results. Note that Seattle's mayor has cleared the way for those who march to get tested without symptoms and encourages participants to get tested. 3.) Wait 14 days after marching/protesting to return to the clinic. Thank you for understanding that this policy is in place to allow us to meet our responsibility to all clients, which is to do no harm.

We remain passionate about helping you improve and maintain the function of your movement system so that you can do the activities you love. We invite you to follow/Like our  Facebook page, where I am offering complimentary weekly Pilates mat class on Fridays at 7am. All are welcome to participate in these classes or view them anytime on our Facebook page.

Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. Be in touch with your PT to schedule your physical therapy visit. We are available via clinic phone (206-535-7356) and email ( We will update you here and our Facebook page as things change.

Thank you for your support of this small, locally-owned physical therapy private practice!

Elizabeth Rogers, PT

Owner, Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy, PLLC