How To Stop Incontinence:
10 Ways To Prevent Leaks

Over 4.2 million Australians are living with incontinence. Sadly, 70 per cent of people with urinary leakage don't seek advice or treatment for their condition.

Urinary incontinence is a fairly common disorder. However, the way it manifests itself affects an individual’s esteem and self-worth. Consequently, it comes in the way of both professional and social lives of many people.

This article will give some tips on how to stop incontinence.

How to Stop Incontinence

Incontinence, by itself, is not a disease but a symptom. As such, if you are suffering from involuntary urine leakage, it would be wise to get a professional opinion to prevent the underlying disease from progressing.

Meanwhile, utilise the following tips to stop bladder leaks.

1. Have a Bladder Diary


Each time that you have a urinary leak, note it down. Under that section, record the time, what you were having, and what you were doing. Use this information to identify a pattern.

For example, does the leakage typically occur when doing particular activities or after ingesting certain things?

This information will allow you to understand your triggers so you know what to avoid. If the trigger is unavoidable, then you will be better prepared.

Your bladder diary will also help your doctor in your diagnosis.

2. Manage Your Fluid Intake


Most people should try to drink about 2 litres (8 cups) of fluids per day, preferably water, unless instructed otherwise by a medical professional.

Unfortunately the more you drink the higher the likelihood of leakage, yet if you restrict your fluid intake it could cause medical problems including constipation, which, ironically, can also cause incontinence.

This is clearly a conundrum, however the best solution to this is to manage your fluid intake throughout the day. Make sure you drink enough and drink regularly throughout the day. Try to sip small amounts throughout the day rather than drinking large amounts at once. And of course water is best - consider quitting alcohol as you can count on a leakage if you decide to indulge.

2. Avoid Caffeine


Caffeine is a diuretic. It irritates the bladder and stimulates urine production. Nonetheless, this does not mean just avoiding coffee as numerous other foods contain caffeine as well.

4. Have an Emergency Kit


When leaving the house, pack a bag of clean clothes that you can change into if leakage occurs. Having these items will allow you to be more comfortable and prepared.

Also, consider getting and wearing incontinence aids (pads, adult pull-ups, adult nappies). These will protect you from leaking onto your clothes.

5. Do Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises


Also known as Kegels, these are movements designed to help strengthen your urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. In fact, Kegel exercise has been known to cure urinary incontinence.

A physical therapist will help you learn what they are in addition to showing you how to execute them correctly.

Nonetheless, just as with any other exercise routine, it is the frequency at which you do these exercises that will determine their effectiveness.

Therefore, work with your therapist or doctor to help you establish a routine and ensure that you stick to it.

There is also a technique known as biofeedback that is often used alongside Kegel movements to help increase the effectiveness of those exercises.

Biofeedback utilises electrical stimulation to enhance proper muscle contractions.

6. Cultivate Good Toilet Habits


Nurturing the following habits will help stop bladder leaks:

Only use the toilet when you have a full bladder

Avoid making a habit of urinating every time you feel something in your bladder. Doing this teaches your bladder that it should go even when it is not full.

Don't rush it

A mistake that a lot of people make in the toilet is using their pelvic floor to force out the urine. This reduces the effectiveness of your sphincter muscles. Instead, take your time and let the urine flow at its own rate.

Don't hold in a bowel motion

Whenever you feel the urge, go to the toilet immediately as holding it in can lead to constipation. Also, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time.

Don't force it

When you are having problems with your bowel motions, do not strain to open them. This will weaken your pelvic floor muscles.

Correct posture

When passing a bowel motion, the correct posture will make the movement a lot easier. Consider having a footstool in your toilet where you can place your feet. Next, put your elbows on your knees, push out your belly, and straighten your back.

Utilise laxatives

These will ease the tension in your pelvic floor muscles so you can have easier bowel motions. However, laxatives should only be a short-term solution.

Eat healthy

A healthy diet should allow your faeces to be soft - so make sure your diet contains good amounts of fibre and drink the right amount of fluids.

With frequent practice, these habits will become second nature to you.

7. Lose Weight


Carrying around excess weight weakens your pelvic floor muscles thus contributing to incontinence. The fatty tissue usually applies a lot of pressure on your bladder.

Therefore, by losing the excess weight, you should see the symptoms improve. Nonetheless, in your weight loss routine, minimise lifting exercises as these will put a strain on your pelvic floor muscles - and when you do lift, cough or sneeze be sure to pull-up your pelvic floor muscles as you are about to start.

You can lose weight through:

  • Taking brisk 30-minute walks five days a week
  • Reducing your intake of calories
  • Avoiding sugary foods and fluids
  • Getting on a healthier diet comprising of whole grains and vegetables
  • Losing weight will not just help improve incontinence but will also improve your overall health.

8. Practice Yoga


Yoga strengthens core muscles which has been shown to reduce the symptoms of urinary continence. This is because a stronger core allows some people with the condition to gain better control of their urination.

9. Try and Remain Calm


It will happen. You will suddenly feel the urge, and you will be afraid that you might make a mess. Panicking will not help. Instead, take deep breathes to calm yourself down. Doing this will help put away the urge.

10. Outsmart the Urge


If calming down does not work, clench your buttocks.

Clench them as tight as you can and hold the tension for a couple of seconds. Do this several times until you feel the urge start to disappear. When it passes, walk slowly to the closest toilet and relieve yourself.

 

Is there a Cure for Incontinence?

Incontinence is a symptom with many causes including disease. As such, it is best to consult with a doctor or a continence practitioner who can do a comprehensive assessment to determine the type of incontinence and tailor proper and effective treatment or management programs.

If you have been looking at how to stop incontinence, then applying the above tips in addition to getting professional help could reduce (if not entirely stop) your bladder leaks.

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