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How to Prevent Urinary Incontinence: Tips to Try

How to Prevent Urinary Incontinence: Tips to Try

Urinary incontinence happens when there is an accidental leakage of urine due to a loss of control over your bladder. This disorder may occur in both men and women of any age. However, older women usually experience this condition more than men. Learn how to prevent urinary incontinence here.

Urinary Incontinence: Types and Prevention

Early Signs of Urinary Incontinence

A bladder control problem such as urinary incontinence can be determined by these early signs such as:

  • Having an uncontrolled leakage of urine
  • Being unable to go to the bathroom in time
  • Releasing small amounts of urine more than usual
  • Having a sudden leakage on the bed while sleeping
  • Getting up more than two times during the night to urinate
  • Having the feeling of an unemptied bladder after urinating

Ways to Prevent Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence cannot be prevented most of the time. However, there are some ways to help in achieving a healthy bladder and to avoid more serious problems caused by this loss of bladder control.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is one of the risk factors for urinary incontinence as excess body fat puts pressure on the intra-abdomen cavity. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight is a way to prevent bladder problems.

You can start slow and with small efforts. This can be done by doing light exercise such as walking, jogging, or other similar activities for at least 30 minutes a day. By losing excess weight, your bladder will be able to stimulate and relax.

In addition, achieving a normal and healthy body weight can be done by monitoring your Body Mass Index (BMI). The ideal BMI is 18.6 to 24.9.

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  1. Have a Healthy Eating Plan

Having a healthy eating plan is also important in maintaining a healthy weight. Eating the right amount of food and nutrients can avoid obesity, which is a factor in urinary incontinence.

Some food items and beverages have been found to trigger bladder problems. You may want to avoid or lessen the intake such as tomato-based products, spicy food, chocolates, acidic fruits such as oranges, grapes, and lemons, coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks. Too much consumption of these food items and beverages can lead to bladder irritation which can lead to urinary incontinence.

  1. Drink the Right Amount of Fluids

Drinking enough fluids may prevent urinary incontinence, but not to the point of dehydration. The right amount of fluid to take depends on the place where you live, your body size, and your urination activity level. See a doctor for assistance.

how to prevent urinary incontinence

  1. Practice Good Bathroom Habits

Good bathroom habits help in preventing urinary incontinence such as observing the frequency of bathroom breaks to urinate and also the amount of urine released. Other good habits that are needed to be practiced are going to the toilet only if you feel the urge to urinate.

For women, practice the right position when urinating which is sitting on the toilet while leaning forward with elbows on knees. With this position, your pelvic floor muscles and sphincter muscles will be relaxed.

  1. Avoid Constipation

Avoiding and treating constipation can also help to prevent urinary incontinence. Constipation is a condition of having less frequent bowel movements that result in having stools that are difficult to pass.

To prevent this, it is important to eat fiber-based food items such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. In addition, drinking enough water and being physically active can help reduce constipation.

  1. Do Not Smoke

Smoking is very dangerous to your health. One of its effects is constant coughing which may result in stress incontinence. Smoking is also a risk factor for bladder cancer. According to research, smoking irritates the bladder which makes the condition worse. Therefore, avoiding or quitting smoking is an advantage in having a healthy bladder and a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Do Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercises

Older people are commonly prone to urinary incontinence due to health events such as menopause, childbirth, and prostate problems. However, some exercises help bladder control.

A good exercise routine is the Kegel exercise routines for pelvic floor muscles and pelvic area. It is the most recommended exercise to prevent urinary incontinence. It strengthens your pelvic floor muscles to hold urine in the bladder.

For those men who underwent radical prostatectomy, attending the perioperative behavioral training can help for the speedy recovery of bladder control and also helps to reduce the severity of incontinence.

Complications of Urinary Incontinence

If not treated immediately, urinary incontinence may result in some complications such as:

  1. Skin Problems. Skin infections are most likely to acquire from regularly wet skin. Rashes, sores, and allergies from urine incontinence can also be a factor for other serious skin problems.
  2. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Urinary incontinence is a high risk of having UTI. When you start to have a painful feeling when urinating and blood is excrete along with urine, it is possibly a UTI.
  3. Impacts on Personal Life. The symptoms of urinary incontinence can bring an uncomfortable feeling. It can affect the time of work, bonding with friends, or personal time. It may also affect mental health.

Key Takeaways

Urinary incontinence is caused by several factors. However, it can be prevented by taking care of your health and seeking medical treatment as soon as one sees the early signs of bladder control problems. Consult your doctor.

Learn more about Urinary Incontinence here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Incontinence – prevention tips

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/incontinence-prevention-tips Accessed December 9, 2020

Prevention of Bladder Control Problems (Urinary Incontinence) & Bladder Health

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems/prevention Accessed December 9, 2020

Prevention of Urinary Incontinence

https://www.americangeriatrics.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/Tamara_Bavendam_MD_MS.pdf Accessed December 9, 2020

ABOUT CONTINENCE

https://www.continence.org.au/about-continence/prevention Accessed December 9, 2020

 

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Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos Updated Jun 03
Medically reviewed by Elfred Landas, M.D.
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