Bladder Function

Along with bowel function, returning to normal bladder function is an important part of your recovery process.

Patients who have not had bladder surgery or a urological surgery procedure can use the following suggestions to help empty the bladder. Patients that had bladder or urological surgery need to follow a special set of instructions.

Helping Your Bladder Empty

During your surgery, a catheter will be used to collect your urine. If you have trouble urinating after your catheter is removed, relax and do not strain. The goal is to trigger the bladder to contract, not to bear down and hold your breath.

Try the following suggestions:

  • Sit upright on the toilet and relax.
  • Pay special attention to relaxing your legs.
  • Do not strain or push.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Do some gentle Kegel exercises. (Gently squeeze the muscles surrounding the vagina. Hold for two seconds and relax for four seconds. If the urine starts to flow, do not stop it.)
  • Turn on the faucet in the bathroom and put your hands under warm running water.
  • Gently suck in your belly muscles and support them with your hands.
  • Squirt warm water over your genital area. Ask your nurse for a peri bottle, if needed.
  • If you still cannot urinate, relax and try these same suggestions again in 30 to 60 minutes.

Throughout your recovery, take special care to use good hygiene. Always wash your hands before and after you touch your incision, and anytime you use the bathroom. Clean your genital area after you go to the bathroom by wiping from front to back.