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9 Tips to Help Control Urinary Incontinence

According to the American Urological Association, the definition of urinary incontinence (UI) is “the involuntary loss of urine.” It’s common in women of all ages and is typically caused by childbirth, aging or even a persistent cough. We probably all know someone who’s affected by incontinence and for those people, it’s no laughing matter. Incontinence can have a profound impact on a woman’s life, causing sufferers to avoid social situations and shy away from their favorite activities.

What are Some Triggers that Cause Urinary Incontinence?

Some of the simplest things can trigger bladder leakage such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, jogging or even picking up your baby. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that can be done to help you stay in control so you can enjoy a stress-free life.

9 Tips to Help Control Urinary Incontinence

  • Talk to your doctor. UI is more common than most think so don’t be shy! Your doctor can help you find the best treatment for your urinary incontinence. And the solution may be much simpler than you think.
  • Drink up – but not too much. Drinking enough fluids is important to avoid concentrated urine, which can be irritating to the bladder, but drinking too much water can wreak havoc if you have UI. Aim to drink about two quarts (eight cups) to keep your bladder and kidneys healthy.
  • Skip the caffeine. Cola, chocolate and coffee, oh my! Yes, we do love our caffeine but you’re doing yourself no favor by drinking products with caffeine. It can be hard to avoid altogether so at least try to cut back.
  • Be ready. Know where the nearest bathroom is and wear clothes that can be easily removed. Think elastic waists and Velcro.
  • Stick to a schedule. You may not feel like you have to go but you should try to head to the bathroom on a regular, more frequent schedule because empty bladders can’t leak. Shoot for every two hours and adjust as you go along to fit with your schedule.
  • Squeeze before you sneeze. Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic muscles and in turn, help prevent accidents. Aim to do them regularly throughout the day because the more you do, the stronger you’ll make your muscles.
  • Medication side effects. The medication you are taking may have diuretic effects and you may not even know it. Talk with your physician to make sure you’re not taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs that could be making your urinary incontinence worse.
  • Tampon time. Wearing a tampon puts pressure on your urethra which can help prevent leakage. This is especially helpful when engaging in physical activities like running or dancing.
  • Lose weight. Extra weight on the abdomen means more pressure is applied to the bladder so losing weight can help control UI.

Cherokee Women’s Health Can Help

If you’re affected by urinary incontinence or would like more information, call Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists at 770-720-7733 or request an appointment online at either our Canton or Woodstock location.