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The leva® Bladder Diary

  Keeping a bladder diary can be an important tool for both diagnosis and bladder training, depending upon your condition.

How can a bladder diary help diagnose urinary incontinence?

There are several kinds of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence and mixed incontinence. Keeping a bladder diary can help your physician understand the type of incontinence you are experiencing, can make you aware of lifestyle habits that may be affecting your incontinence, and will work with your leva to help monitor your progress.

How can a bladder diary help with bladder training?

Bladder training is a form of behavioral therapy used to train your bladder to increase both the amount of time between emptying your bladder and the amount of urine your bladder can hold.

A bladder diary is used to keep a record of fluid intake, voiding, physical activity, and any incontinence experienced. This helps your physician to determine the correct starting point of your training, will help identify things that contribute to your incontinence, and will help monitor your progress.

Bladder Training Instructions

♦ Empty your bladder when you first get up in the morning. This begins your retraining schedule.
♦ Go to the bathroom at the specific times you and your physician have discussed. Wait until your scheduled time before you urinate. Be sure to empty your
bladder at those times even if you feel no urge to urinate. Follow the schedule during waking hours only. At night, go to the bathroom only if you awaken and find it necessary.
♦ If you are able to hold your urine according to your schedule for four days, you can increase the time between emptying your bladder in 15-30 minute
intervals. Spend the next four days training your bladder at the new time interval.
♦ Try to increase your interval every four days; however, you will be the best judge of how quickly you proceed. Continue this process until you can hold your urine without accidents for at least 3 hours at a time.

Helpful Tips on Bladder Training

♦ Try to hold your urine until your next scheduled time. You will feel an urge to urinate before your scheduled time during your training. Hold your urine as long as possible without having an accident. When you feel the urge to urinate, which may come in waves, try relaxation techniques like deep breathing. If possible, sit down until the urge passes. If you are able to relax and hold your urine, adhere to your voiding schedule. If you cannot suppress the urge, wait five minutes then slowly make your way to the bathroom. After urinating, re-establish the schedule.
♦ Do not restrict your fluid intake in order to not urinate. You may become dehydrated, which can cause additional problems including constipation and/or bladder irritation, which will have the opposite effect of what you want. Your body needs water to function efficiently: 5-6 cups per day or more depending upon your daily activity.
♦ Drink moderate amounts of water throughout the day. If you drink a large quantity of fluids at one time, you will not be able to make it to the next interval. If you are waking up during the night to urinate, reduce your fluid intake after 6 pm. Remember to urinate before bedtime, even if it is off schedule, so you can avoid waking to urinate.
♦ Try to drain your bladder completely when you urinate. Take your time when you are urinating to make sure that you have emptied your bladder.
♦ Watch what you drink. Caffeine is a diuretic and may also irritate your bladder, causing an urge to urinate. Drinks that are commonly caffeinated are sodas, coffee, and tea. Alcoholic drinks can also interfere with your bladder training. If you drink alcoholic beverages, keep it to one drink a day. Highly acidic juices (tomato, citrus, and some fruit juices) can also increase your urge to urinate.
Pelvic floor muscle therapy can help with bladder control by keeping your pelvic floor healthy, and by teaching you to relax and contract the pelvic floor muscles at will.