HCA Midwest Health - November 01, 2017

Urinary incontinence or overactive bladder can be caused by various factors like weakened muscles from aging, hormone changes, pregnancy, childbirth, stress from certain physical activities, medical conditions like diabetes, radiation, and surgery for prostate cancer in men.

Here are some tips for managing incontinence:

  • Kegel exercises. Kegels help more than 80% of women with stress incontinence (the leak-when-you-sneeze type). The trick is working the right muscles.

    Find the muscles you use to stop urinating. Squeeze these muscles for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds. Your stomach and thigh muscles should not tighten when you do this. Add 1 second each week until you are able to squeeze for 10 seconds each time. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times per session. Try to do this at least 3 times a day. It may take 3 or 4 months to notice improvement. Don't do Kegels while you urinate - this can hurt your bladder.

  • Skip "urge-to-pee" drinks. Caffeine, fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, tomatoes, citrus, can all be triggers.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to alleviate added pressure on bladder.
  • Talk with your doctor. Frequent urination can also be a sign of infection or a side effect from certain prescription medications.

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