Incontinence can be an upsetting and embarrassing condition, but it is very common and a lot can be done to manage it. The right continence therapy will depend on the type of incontinence you have and how severe the problem is.
Making a few simple changes to your lifestyle can prevent incontinence. Avoiding caffeine, losing any excess weight and ensuring that you aren’t drinking too much or too little can all help. Another change you can make is to use incontinence products such as pads, but while these can help you to manage your condition you will need continence therapy to prevent leaks.
Training Your Body
Continence therapy usually begins with bladder and muscle training to help prevent urine leaks. Bladder training can help you to gain more control by gradually increasing the amount of time you wait between feeling the urge to urinate and actually passing urine. Training your pelvic floor muscles can also help. These muscles surround both your bladder and urethra, so strengthening them can give you better control. Your doctor will explain how you can do this. You will need to learn how to squeeze these muscles, which feels a bit like trying to stop the flow of urine. You will then need to do this several times a day. Your doctor can provide extra help if you need it, such as a device that provides electrical stimulation to tighten the muscles for you or biofeedback to tell you how well you are doing.
Training your bladder and pelvic muscles can be very effective, but in some cases you may need additional help. Medication is available to help with both stress and urge incontinence and in some cases your doctor may recommend surgery to help with your bladder control. Surgical continence treatments can help by strengthening or raising your urethra to prevent urine leaks.