Ideally, we recommend you see a healthcare professional for helping treat your incontinence, however, there are a few simple things you can do at home. Doing these things can help lessen the frequency and extent of your incontinence. The techniques and changes mentioned in this article shouldn’t be used to replace medical recommendations but instead may be used in conjunction. If you suffer from mild or occasional incontinence these small simple remedies may be all that is needed to treat your incontinence issues.
Having extra weight around your abdomen puts extra pressure on your sphincter muscles. By losing weight your muscles won’t have to work as hard and urine can be held in easier. Losing weight is specifically good for those who suffer from overflow incontinence.
Alcohol has the effect of encouraging urination. Cutting back your alcohol intake may mean you feel the need to urinate less frequently.
Caffeine is known as a bladder irritant and can cause you to urinate more frequently.
If you drink too much fluid you will feel the need to urinate more regularly. By cutting back to healthy levels of fluid intake you may find the urge to urinate decreases. This is a double-edged sword because if you don’t get enough fluid not only will you become dehydrated, you become more susceptible to urinary tract infections. 6-8 cups of water are recommended by most health professionals, however, if you do believe you are drinking too much fluid its best to seek professional guidance before you make any permanent changes.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
One of the most common ways to deal with incontinence is pelvic floor exercises. In some cases, pelvic floor exercises may be the only treatment needed to cure your incontinence issues.
These exercises are simple to learn, require no physical equipment, and can be done anytime and anywhere.
Pelvic floor exercises are focused on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening these muscles you are able to help prevent leakage of urine as your urethra becomes stronger and requires less support.
This method is also relatively easy to do and specifically helps people who suffer from stress and urge incontinence.
One method is delayed urination, this requires you to simply lengthen the time between bathroom trips. For example, you may begin going to the bathroom every 45 minutes, you then increase this to one hour and so on. This helps increase your bladder capacity meaning you can hold more urine in. Controlling the urge to not use the bathroom is hard so focusing on relaxation techniques like deep breathing can be helpful.
An alternative method is referred to as voiding, this is when you go to the bathroom on a strict schedule. It doesn’t matter if you need to urinate or not, you go to the bathroom at a set time. This method teachers your bladder to wait and can be helpful in preventing urge incontinence.
If you do decide to undertake bladder training or attempt pelvic floor exercises, be patient. You may not see any immediate results as it can take up to several weeks before you notice a difference. The most important thing is that you keep your spirits up and keep trying. Other methods such as changing your diet may take even longer and might not show a direct impact but these small changes do all add up. These methods may not cure your incontinence but they may help make it more bearable and manageable for you. There are other treatments such as medications and surgeries that may be more appropriate for you to help you treat your incontinence. In this case, its recommended you speak to a health professional so they can get you on the best treatment plan for your situation.