A Healthy Bladder

A Consensus Statement

E. S. Lukacz; C. Sampselle; M. Gray; S. MacDiarmid; M. Rosenberg; P. Ellsworth; M. H. Palmer


Int J Clin Pract. 2011;65(10):1026-1036. 

In This Article


Bladder health is a key component of overall health. Internal and external factors influence bladder health. Primary prevention through education regarding normal bladder structures and functioning can help promote healthy bladder habits and early treatment seeking for bladder conditions. Our goal is to raise awareness about bladder health that, in turn, will reduce the associated personal, societal and economic burden, including anxiety and depression related to stigma and costs associated with bladder conditions. Increases in healthcare-seeking behaviours should result from knowledge that most bladder conditions are treatable and a range of treatment options exist, including self-management.

Promoting and achieving optimal bladder health can help minimise the effects of bladder conditions on the affected population, healthcare professionals, educators, employers and payors. Previous bladder health initiatives have focused largely on primary prevention of incontinence, often exclusively in women. This is the first US public health statement to address bladder health and is intended to promote wide-spread bladder health awareness in the context of overall health. Consensus was reached that there are established clinical directives that are generally agreed upon to promote and maintain bladder health. These include: (i) consume an adequate amount of fluid (25–30 ml/kg per day, the amount needed to empty the bladder every 3 to 4 h), (ii) moderate consumption of foods or beverages known to irritate the bladder, (iii) adopt a relaxed position for urination and allow time for the bladder to empty, (iv) use self-management practices of pelvic floor muscle training, bladder training and pre-emptive pelvic floor contraction to improve and maintain bladder health, (v) avoid constipation, (vi) avoid obesity; and (vii) do not smoke.


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