An overactive bladder diary is a tool used by you and your healthcare professional to better understand your OAB symptoms. It helps you track and know how much and when you drink liquids, how much and when you urinate, when you have that “gotta go” feeling, and how much and when you leak urine.
When is an Overactive Bladder Diary used?
You can use a Bladder Diary before or after visiting with your healthcare professional. You may choose to complete a Bladder Diary before you see your healthcare professional for the first time. Having a Bladder Diary during your first visit can be helpful.
You may find it easier to explain your symptoms and how they are affecting your life. If you don’t keep a Bladder Diary before your first office visit, your healthcare professional may ask you to start one. It can help them understand your daily habits and how your bladder is working during a 24-hour period.
How to complete the diary?
- Begin your overactive bladder 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.
- During the day, write down how much liquid you drink. If you do not know exactly how much liquid you are drinking, it’s important to take a good guess about the number of ounces every time. 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.
- Take note of how much urine you make during the day. If your healthcare professional asks you to keep a Bladder Diary, you will probably get a special collection device to use. It sits under your toilet seat. It is marked with measurements to let you know how much urine you make. If you are keeping the diary on your own before visiting a healthcare professional, 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. You can rinse the collection device from your healthcare professional or your paper cup in the tub or sink after you use it. Keep the cup or 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 give a true picture of your bladder condition. The three days you keep your diary don’t have to follow one after another. Any three days you choose is fine. Copy as many pages of the Bladder Diary you need to complete the three days or visit UrologyHealth.org/OAB to print out more.
- Don’t forget to bring your completed diary with you to your first office visit.
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