It doesn’t matter if your incontinence makes you leak a little urine when you cough or sneeze, or if it makes you lose control if you can’t get to the bathroom in time — the condition can rule your life. At Dr. John Macey’s office, we know how embarrassing and uncomfortable it is to deal with bladder leakage, no matter how big or small your problem. We’re here to share five easy ways you can overcome incontinence and take back your life once and for all.
Incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, is a common problem, especially as you age. The older you get, the weaker the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your bladder become, causing your bladder function to worsen. If you’re overweight, have had multiple pregnancies, or have undergone bladder surgery, your risk of developing incontinence is even greater.
While you may feel like your bladder leakage forces you to wear heavy pads or adult diapers or spend your days trapped in the house, there are at-home remedies and noninvasive procedures that can improve your incontinence.
Here are five easy ways you can overcome incontinence and feel free in your life once again.
1. Start doing Kegel exercises
The most effective way to improve incontinence is with Kegel exercises. These exercises, named after the doctor who first advocated their use, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, adding support to your bladder and improving your muscle control.
To practice them, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. You can even practice these while you’re urinating. Keep the muscles engaged for five seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times, working up to a 10-second hold.
Practice these exercises at least three times a day, every day, to improve and maintain bladder control.
2. Engage in bladder training
When you want to lengthen the time between bathroom breaks, try bladder training. Instead of rushing to the bathroom the instant you get the urge to urinate, wait five minutes before going. Once you can hold your urine consistently for those five minutes, lengthen the wait time to 10 minutes.
Continue adding five minutes at a time until you’re only going to the bathroom every 2.5-3.5 hours. Bladder training strengthens your bladder control muscles and helps your bladder hold urine for a longer period, lowering the constant urge to go and preventing leakage.
3. Change your diet
Sometimes the foods you eat can make incontinence worse. Alcohol and caffeine increase the urge to urinate, as do acidic foods like grapefruits and tomatoes.
You may also need to cut back on liquids, especially before you’re leaving home or heading to bed. Learning how your body reacts to foods and beverages can help you better prepare for when you’ll be away from a bathroom for an extended period of time.
4. Try double voiding or scheduled urination
Different bathroom habits can also improve your incontinence. For instance, if you’re not completely emptying your bladder when you urinate, double voiding may help. After you pee, wait 5-10 minutes and go again. This can help you fully empty your bladder and make you less likely to suffer leakage.
Other times, scheduling your urination can help reduce the frequency of leakage. Instead of waiting until you get the urge to go, empty your bladder on a regular schedule, say every 3-4 hours. This ensures a smaller amount of urine is in the bladder, making incontinence less likely.
5. Consider laser treatment for incontinence
At our office, many women opt for laser treatment for incontinence. This noninvasive and painless procedure uses laser light energy to stimulate and enhance your body’s natural healing response, rejuvenating the supportive tissues that surround your bladder.
Laser treatment for incontinence boosts the production of collagen and elastin, proteins that restore your tissue’s strength and flexibility, reducing, or even eliminating, your bladder leakage.
To take back your life from the embarrassment of incontinence, schedule an appointment with Dr. Macey. Call the office or use the convenient online booking tool.