9 Ways To Control Urinary Incontinence And Prevent Leaks In Addition To Treatment

Date March 7, 2018

Urinary incontinence is a common health problem which can be caused by different medical conditions and other factors, such as aging or pregnancy. Some people are too embarrassed to discuss the issue even with their doctor. But in most cases, urinary incontinence can be successfully treated, and there are a few things you can do yourself to relieve this uncomfortable symptom.

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Here are a few tips on how to control urinary incontinence:

1. Eliminate aggravating foods and drinks from your diet.

Certain foods and drinks, such as alcohol, coffee, tea, and foods that contain caffeine (e.g. chocolate), can act as diuretics and make you need to go to toilet more often. Spicy and acidic foods, such as curries and citrus fruits, can also make urinary incontinence worse. Try excluding such foods and drinks from your diet to see if your condition improves.

2. Start doing Kegel exercises.

Kegel exercises (or simply Kegels) are exercises designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. They are often recommended to pregnant women, but anyone of any age can do them. You need to do Kegels regularly for them to lead to a noticeable improvement.

3. Drink enough water.

Some people with urinary incontinence limit their fluid intake trying to prevent leaks. But the truth is, inadequate hydration can make urine more concentrated, which only aggravates incontinence. Drink enough plain water to satisfy your daily needs, but don't gulp down the whole glass in one go. Take small but frequent sips to prevent the urge to go from coming on suddenly.

4. Always go when you need to go.

To prevent accidents, don't try to hold the urine in for too long. Use the bathroom when you need to, and always go right before bedtime and leaving home.

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5. Shed extra pounds.

Extra weight creates pressure on the bladder, making urinary incontinence worse. On the other hand, healthy weight loss can help change the situation.

6. Deal with constipation.

Constipation can make urinary incontinence worse because it creates pressure on the bladder. To relieve constipation, include more foods rich in fiber in your diet. If that doesn't help, you may need to consult a doctor to find out if there's a medical issue that's causing constipation.

7. Clear the path to the bathroom in your home.

You may want to rearrange furniture or make other adjustments in your home so you'll be able to get to the bathroom more quickly when you need to, especially at night. Also, wear bottoms that can be quickly removed when you feel the need to urinate.

8. Try to empty your bladder completely.

Don't rush out of the bathroom after you finished urinating. Stand up, sit back down, and see if you can pass a little more urine. This is called "double voiding," and it can help you empty the bladder more completely.

9. Read the instructions that come with your meds carefully.

Urinary incontinence can be a side effect of certain medicines. If you started to experience urinary incontinence after starting to use a certain drug, ask your doctor whether he or she can change the dosage or put you on a different medicine.

If you have urinary incontinence, don't hesitate to tell your doctor about it. Self-care measures can help, but sometimes, they aren't enough.

Source: NHS UK, Prevention, BootsWebMD

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.