What is a Bladder Diary?
A bladder diary is a tool used by you and your health care provider to better understand your bladder symptoms. It helps you track a number of things: when and how much fluid you drink, when and how much you urinate, how often you have that “gotta go” urgency feeling, and when
and how much urine you may leak. When is a Bladder Diary used? You can use a Bladder Diary before or after visiting with your health care provider. Having a Bladder Diary during your first visit can be helpful because it describes your daily habits, your urinary symptoms and demonstrates how they are affecting your life. Your doctor will use this information to help treat you.
How do you use the Bladder Diary?
- Begin writing in your diary when you wake up each day. Take notes throughout the day, and continue until you complete 24 hours. For example, if you wake up at 7 a.m. on the first day of your diary, take notes until 7 a.m. the next day.
- Write down what you drink (i.e, water, juice, coffee, wine) and how much. Measuring the amount is helpful.
If you are unable to measure your drinks, then it’s important to take a good guess about the number of ounces every time you drink something. Most containers will list the number of ounces they contain. Use these listings to help you make an estimate—for example, an 8 oz. cup of juice, 12 oz. can of soda, or 20 oz. bottle of water.
- Write down when and how much you urinate, both during the day and night. Doctors often provide a special measuring collection device to use. It sits under your toilet seat and is marked with measurements to let you know how much you urinated.
If you are keeping the diary on your own before visiting a health care provider, then you may want to collect your urine in a paper cup. Choose a cup that you know holds a certain amount of liquid, such as 8 oz. Rinse the urine collection device with water after each use. Keep the device close to your toilet until you’ve finished your diary.
- It’s best to keep a diary for at least three days. A one day diary may not provide enough information to give a true picture of your bladder condition. Also, the three days you keep your diary don’t have to be three days in a row. Any three days you chose will be fine, as long as they represent three “typical days” for you. Print as many pages of the Bladder Diary you need to complete the three days.
- Don’t forget to bring your completed diary with you to your office visit. Urology Care Foundation You may download this Bladder Diary and print it at UrologyHealth.org/Diary.
For copies of printed materials about other urologic conditions, visit UrologyHealth.org/Order or call 1-800-828-7866.
get started Use the attached bladder diary to start tracking!