It is important to ensure you empty your bladder fully to help decrease your risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), cystitis and overstretch of your bladder muscles. We hope that the following advice and techniques will help you to achieve this.
• Always sit down properly on the toilet leaning forwards slightly. Do not ‘hover’ over the seat. This enables your pelvic floor muscles to relax properly and your bladder to fully empty.
• Make sure you give yourself enough time to pass urine. Do not rush.
• Relax your stomach muscles and breathe into your lower belly. A couple of further breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth can also help to relax the pelvic floor.
• Avoid constipation. Aim to increase your intake of fibre with plenty of fruit, vegetables and pulses and ensure you are drinking plenty of fluid (aim for 2 litres daily).
• Avoid straining or pushing to empty your bladder. This can weaken your pelvic floor muscles.
Try the following techniques to help with emptying
• When you feel that you have finished passing urine, lean forward to see if you can pass a little more. You can also try leaning backwards, or to either side.
• Lean forward and lift your bottom in the air.
• Stand up and ‘jiggle around’ or walk a few steps then sit down on the toilet again and see if you can pass more urine.
• Do a strong pelvic floor muscle squeeze then relax. If you are unsure how to find your pelvic floor muscles see POGP Pelvic Floor Muscles (for women).
• Tap or press gently over your bladder area which is just above your pubic bone. This can trigger your bladder to empty.
If you have any questions, please speak to your physiotherapist.
Who do I contact for further information?
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way
intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.