If you are struggling with using the bathroom “too much” or “not enough,” a bladder diary can be crucial in identifying and changing your toileting habits. We have a previous post on bladder training. Today’s post takes a step back to walk you through how to fill out a bladder diary or “voiding log” and how it can be helpful for you.
Typically, you should urinate 6-8 times per day. If you find yourself going more frequently than that, you will benefit from a bladder diary. If you find yourself going much less than that, such as 2-3 times per day, you will also benefit from a bladder diary!
Filling Out Your Bladder Diary
You will notice the first column of your diary instructs you to write down what you eat and/or drink. Most of the time, we are interested in what you are drinking. I like to see what types of fluids you are drinking, when, and how much.
The next column will ask you you how much you voiding. This means that every time you go to the restroom, you will record the time and amount you urinated. You can measure this in a urine hat, count the seconds of the stream, or simply rate it as “small,” “medium,” or “large.”
In the next column, you will see a space for “amount of leakage.” Fill this out if you have urinary incontinence. Not everyone will experience leakage, so it is okay to leave this blank if needed.
There is also a space to record the severity of the urge. If you are experiencing incontinence with frequent bathroom trips, it’s likely you have some degree of urge. Feel free to rate this urge as a 1, 2 or 3 with 3. 1 is mild urge, 3 is severe urge.
Finally, there is a column to record “activity with leakage.” This would be for someone with incontinence, whether it is stress or urge incontinence. If you are not leaking, you do not have to fill this column out. Examples of activities could be jumping, sit to stand, or the while putting the key in the door to your house.
A Bladder Diary Can Lead to Major Changes!
If you are not urinating the typical 6-8 times per day, you may benefit from filling out a bladder diary. Sometimes, my patients are surprised about just how frequently or how little they are going to the bathroom! I have seen the awareness of bathroom habits make a huge difference. It is helpful in treating incontinence, urgency, frequency, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Have you filled out a bladder diary? Did it help? Leave us a comment below!