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Intermittent Self-Catheterization for Women

How often should the bladder empty?

  • The normal bladder works best if it’s emptied every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Most people pee (void) 6 to 8 times every 24 hours.
  • Each time you void, you should get 250 to 500 ml (1 to 2 cups) of urine. This is about 2 litres each day.
  • If you wait too long to empty your bladder (pee), your bladder muscle may become overstretched. You may be able to hold your urine longer than 4 hours now, but later in life your bladder may not work as it should. Signals may not be strong enough to tell you when your bladder is full and when to empty it.
  • If you pee small amounts of urine often (frequency), your bladder becomes trained to hold only small amounts. It becomes oversensitive, irritable, and the urge to pee becomes hard to ignore (urgency).
  • You do not usually need to empty your bladder at night. Some people get up at night because they drink fluids late in the day.
  • You should not leak during the day.