Top 10 Tips to Beat Incontinence

Nov 02, 2010
Women, who gave birth, are more likely to experience urinary incontinence, especially if a woman had longer labor. During the labor, the nerves and pelvic floor muscles can become weaker and overstretched, which leads to the urinary problems.

Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce urinary incontinence and help your bladder work properly.

1. Limit fluids

If you have urinary incontinence, the first thing to consider is your fluid intake. This does not mean that you should not drink water and other beverages. It is more important to balance your fluid intake and keep it to the average two liters of fluid. Also you can limit the water intake before going to bed, if you suffer from nighttime incontinence.

2. Reduce caffeine intake

Caffeine in coffee, tea and other beverages can irritate your bladder and worsen urinary incontinence. Keep your daily intake to 200 mg of caffeine, which equals to about one 12-ounce cup of coffee a day. You can also substitute your regular cup of coffee or tea with decaffeinated ones. Also keep in mind that green tea contains less caffeine than black tea, but both are quite diuretic.

3. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol should also be in your list of must-avoided beverages, since alcohol can make you produce more urine and irritate bladder, which aggravates urinary incontinence. It is recommended to drink no more than one alcoholic drink a day to avoid bladder problems. 

4. Practice Kegel exercises

Doing Kegel exercises is one of the most effective ways to cope with urinary incontinence after childbirth. Kegel exercises make your pelvic muscles stronger and these muscles control urine flow. To find the muscles you want to exercise, you have to contract the muscles as though to stop urinating. Once you've found your pelvic muscles, you can do Kegel exercises, squeezing your pelvic muscles up to 10 times several times per day. You need to hold the muscles for at least 5 seconds and release the muscles. After you have practiced enough, you can gradually increase the time of contractions and repetitions.

5. Lift weights

If you are not sure about doing Kegel exercises right, you might need vaginal weights. Vaginal weights consist of weighted cones or weights that are inserted inside the vagina. You need to contract your pelvic muscles to keep vaginal weights in place, which will strengthen your pelvic muscles and will improve bladder control.

6. Lose weight

It is known that overweight people are more prone to urinary incontinence. Since many women deal with excessive weight after childbirth, it is important to maintain a healthy weight to cope with urinary incontinence and your overall health. There is no need to torture yourself to hunger, but it is important to eat a balanced diet and exercise moderately to have a healthy weight. Even a few pounds lost can reduce urinary incontinence, specialists say.

7. Protect yourself with pads

Using the special absorbent pads is necessary to make you feel more comfortable. Nowadays you can find underpants, pads and other products that are discreet enough so that no one will notice that you are actually wearing them. These products absorb urine and prevent leakage so that you will feel more confident knowing that you are protected in any unexpected situation.

8. Avoid spicy foods

Spices, including chili peppers, curry and others may contribute to urinary incontinence. They have an irritating effect on bladder and this can become a problem if you already suffer from urinary incontinence. If you have noticed that spicy foods worsen your condition, it is time to avoid them.

9. Change your medications

If you are taking medications, such as blood pressure, sedatives and other meds, you may need to reconsider their intake. Ask your doctor if you can change certain medications. Because many of them can have a diuretic effect and make it difficult for you to deal with urinary incontinence.

10. Ease stress

If you are stressed about urinary incontinence it can make things worse. It is important to learn how to relax when you feel that you can leak some urine. Breathe deeply, walk and listen to calm music to stop the urge. This will make you feel more positive and reduce the incidents of urinary incontinence.