Although 1 in 4 women in the US suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI), these women are often surprised to learn that there are precautionary steps that can be taken to “minimize trouble” when it comes to bladder leakage. As Health.com points out, “most people take bladder control for granted – until it’s gone”.
That is why we here at Finess, want to encourage all women to care for their overall bladder and pelvic floor health.
Here are 9 steps from Health.com to help you maintain a healthy urinary tract and reduce your chances of bladder leaks:
Maintain a Healthy Weight:
Being overweight (relative to you your height) can place extra pressure on the bladder, causing the pelvic floor muscles that hold urine in, to weaken. That is why keeping a healthy weight can alleviate this pressure and reduce the risk of bladder leaks.
Perform Kegel Exercises: Kegel exercises are a simple way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and can be done pretty much anywhere. Having a stronger pelvic floor means having more control and fewer leaks. Read this article to learn how you can do kegels at home.
Use Caution with Medication: Some medications are diuretics, causing increased passing of urine. Take the time to talk with your doctor about your stress urinary incontinence before taking a new medicine. He or she may suggest an alternative option or a lower dosage to avoid causing further leakage.
Watch What You Drink: Like many medications, some drinks, such as those that contain caffeine, can aggravate the urinary tract leading to increased episodes of bladder leakage. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid drinking your favorite soft drink. Simply make discerning drink choices when you know you will be far from a restroom.
Avoid Irritating Foods:
When you think about reducing bladder leaks, food probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind. However, some foods can irritate the bladder, increasing your chances of leaks. One way to determine which foods distress your bladder is to keep a record of your diet. In your bladder diary note which foods tend to increase the frequency of bladder leaks. This will help you identify which foods to avoid in the future.
Don’t Smoke: According to Health.com, “Not only can smoking increase the risk of bladder cancer over the long term, but cigarette smoke and nicotine also act as immediate bladder irritants”. In addition “the chronic cough associated with smoking can also lead to accidental leakage.”
Treat Colds Quickly: You might be wondering how this relates to incontinence. Well, illnesses like the flu or the common cold often cause bouts of coughing and sneezing that coincidentally put pressure on the pelvic muscles and increase the chances of a leak.
Weigh The Risk and Benefits of Different Treatment Options:
When it comes to stress urinary incontinence, there are many solutions available. What matters most is finding the right one for you. Women who have light to moderate bladder leakage, for example, may find that a product such as Finess which stops bladder leaks before they happen, will work best. Discreet, comfortable and compact, Finess is available in a 12 or 36-pack here in our Finess store or on Amazon. To learn how to use Finess, visit our YouTube channel. However, others with more severe leakage may consider surgery or physical therapy. Before choosing what solution you should try, be sure to consult your doctor.
Avoid Constipation: Maintaining regular bowel movements by drinking plenty of fluids and adding fiber to your diet can help the bladder too. “A full rectum puts pressure on the bladder and causes the need to void more frequently and urgently,” says Health.com.
Want to learn more about stress urinary incontinence or hear other women’s tinkle tales? Check out these articles: