Under Active Bladder

What is an Under Active Bladder?

Detrusor underactivity, or underactive bladder, is defined as a contraction of reduced strength and/or duration resulting in prolonged bladder emptying and/or a failure to achieve complete bladder emptying within a normal time span.


  • Lifestyle
    • Scheduled Voiding: this includes following a daily bathroom schedule. Instead of voiding when you have an urge, you go to the bathroom at set times during the day. 
    • Double Voiding: after voiding, wait a few moments before trying again to empty your bladder. 
    • Bladder Diary: writing down the frequency of your voiding patterns for a few days can help you and your health provider understand your symptoms.
    • Dietary Changes: weight loss and limited intake of food and drink that irritate the bladder may be helpful. 
  • Medication: 
    • ​​​​​​​Medication may be used where lifestyle changes do not improve symptoms. There are various medications that can be used to assist with improved bladder emptying
  • Surgery
    • ​​​​​​​Surgery may be an option for individuals with more serious types of underactive bladder.
  • Catheter
    • ​​​​​​​Using a catheter can help you empty your bladder. A catheter is a thin tube that is inserted into the urethra which drains urine from the bladder.
    • Clean Intermittent Catheterisation: This is something you can learn to do yourself. Depending on your symptoms, your health care provider may ask you to do this 3 to 4 times a day, leaving it in only long enough to empty your bladder. Sometimes clean intermittent catheterization can help improve how your bladder functions after several weeks or months. 
    • Continuous Catheterisation: some individuals may have a continuous catheter inserted which drains urine at all times. This may include either a suprapubic catheter or indwelling urethral catheter.