How to Complete a Voiding Diary

Complete a voiding diary to track your bathroom habits and address urinary incontinence and urgency.

What Is A Voiding Diary?

A voiding diary, also known as a bladder diary, is a record of how much liquid you drink and how much you pee over a period of time.

Therefore, your healthcare provider may ask you to complete a voiding diary for at least 3 days or even up to 7 days. It’s helpful to determine if any dietary or behavioral factors contribute to your incontinence.

You are welcome to track your voiding habits for as long and make as many copies as you’d like. So, save your copies in a binder for your personal record. Consequently, it’ll make a great baseline to compare if you develop bladder issues later.

If you plan on sharing your voiding diary with your healthcare provider, print your name and date on the top of each form you complete. They will make a copy for their own records. 

What Do You Record In A Voiding Diary?

There are a few essential elements to include in your voiding diary include. Check out the following elements that are typically used:

  • Time of Event
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Fluid Intake
  • Fluid Output
  • Activity at the time of Output
  • Foods and Drinks ingested

Begin by downloading this template to record your voiding habits, click HERE. Then use the following suggestion to complete your voiding diary.

bladder diary
  1. First, make a record of every time you urinate or leak and note the time of day it occurs. Then check ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ if you experience an urge sensation before urinating, leaking, or even if you don’t produce any urinary output. Urgency is the sensation that you have to go to the bathroom, whether you make it to the toilet or not and if you wet yourself or not.
  2. Next, estimate the amount of pee you made by filling in 1, 2, or 3 water drops representing small, medium, or large amounts urinated. This will be subjective to you. You should catch your urine and weigh in ounces for more accurate measurements, but a quick estimate would be more convenient.
    1. Additionally, you can use a counting method. Count how long it takes from the start of your stream to the end. So, < 3 seconds is a small amount, and >10 seconds is a large amount of urine. Anything in between is a medium amount of urine.
  3. Estimate the amount you leaked. In this situation, a few drops count as small leakage. Wetting through your underwear would be medium, and wetting your pants would be a large leak. For more accurate measurements, you could weigh your pad in ounces after each leak.
  4. Finally, estimate the amount of fluid you drink at one time. You can say that <4 ounces is small, 4-8 ounces is medium, and > 8 ounces is large. Whatever numbers you choose, just keep it consistent.

Behavior And Diet Can Influence Your Bladder

Other helpful information for you and your healthcare provider is noting when you wake up and go to sleep. Therefore, don’t forget to record any nighttime voiding or if you have to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.

Also, note what you eat, drink, or do during each record. Consequently, what you eat or drink can trigger urgency incontinence. For instance, note eating a large banana, a small bag of potato chips, or drinking a large cup of coffee. 

In fact, there are several other behaviors that affect your bladder. So, learn about 5 ways you can retrain your bladder.

Writing down the activity you are doing at the time of leakage can determine the severity of Stress incontinence. For example, you can note if leakage occurred when getting up from a chair or during mile 2 of your run.

Summing up, use the following chart as a guide to help you easily complete your voiding diary:

Amount VoidedSmall < 3 secondsMedium = 3-10 secondsLarge > 10 seconds
Amount LeakedA few dropsWet underwearWet pants
Fluid IntakeSmall < 1 cupMedium = 1 cupLarge > 1 cup
Use as a Key to complete the Nurtured Pelvis Voiding Diary

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