Martha was having lunch with her friends. The restaurant was cold. Martha had had a tall glass of iced tea. She and her friends had been talking and laughing when it happened. She had felt the urge to visit the restroom but didn’t feel it was so urgent, until it happened. Around her chair was a pool of urine and just then she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her. This had happened before at home and each time she never knew how it happened, even though she tried so hard to control it.
These embarrassing moments were getting to be more frequent. Why was this happening?
Urinary incontinence affects about 25 million people, out of which 75% are women. According to the National Institute of Aging, there are several reasons for incontinence, ranging from a urinary tract infection to a weak or overactive bladder.
There are different reasons why people suffer from incontinence of which, stress or too much excitement are key reasons. It can happen because you are not able to wait until you reach a restroom. We may experience these episodes more frequently as we age. An overflow occurs when a little urine leaks out whenever you cough or sneeze. You can experience incontinence due to functional issues, like when a debilitating disease such as arthritis slows you down preventing you from reaching the restroom in time.
Irrespective of the reason for incontinence, medical science is quickly advancing and helping people to gain better control over their bladder and to stop embarrassing leaks. Here are 10 ways you can treat incontinence.
- Going to the bathroom at timed intervals, also known as timed voiding. You make pre-scheduled trip to the bathroom every 60 or 90 minutes. This way you avoid accidents that usually happen due to “urgency”.
- Take out time from your daily schedule for Kegel or pelvic exercises. The Kegel muscles are the ones you use to stop urinating. Kegel exercises help to strengthen these muscles so that you are able to hold urine longer.
- Biofeedback may help you regain control over your bladder and urethra by using sensors to help you become aware of signals from your body. They can be useful when you do pelvic exercises as well, so that you know which muscles to exercise.
- Lose a few pounds. A 6-month randomized clinical trial in 338 overweight and obese women showed a 47% decrease in mean weekly total incontinence episodes in the intervention group versus 28% in the control group, primarily due to a reduction in stress incontinence episodes. The control group was under a structured education program that provided them with an instructional booklet on how to lose weight. The intervention group followed a behavioral weight loss program that provided participants with more help in the form of therapy and a structured protocol that was designed to produce an average loss of 7% to 9% of initial body weight within 6 months. You can read more about the study here.
- If you are a smoker, studies show that quitting smoking can help support better bladder control. In fact, a study shows that smoking increases the risk of bladder and kidney cancers as well as incontinence and infertility.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. The findings from a recent study lead scientists to believe that a quarter of the women with the highest level of caffeine consumption could reduce the episodes of incontinence, by eliminated their caffeine intake. People who consume 4 to 10 cups of caffeinated beverages a day are said to have a high intake.
- Fluid management. Too much liquid or even too little fluid consumption can have the worst effect on bladder control. Alternate the amount of fluids you drink daily to determine how much you need to drink, and how much to avoid.
- Your doctor may prescribe bladder training. They may also ask you to combine this 6-week training program with pelvic floor muscle training, if you have mixed urinary incontinence. The training involves learning techniques to improve the length of time between feeling the need to urinate and passing urine.
- Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help you control incontinence. The type of medicines your doctor would advise you to take would depend on the type of incontinence you suffer from.
- If none of the above work for you, your doctor will show you several surgical options that include sling procedures, bladder neck suspensions, prolapse surgery or the use of an artificial urinary sphincter.
These 10 practical tips can help improve bladder control and avoid those embarrassing moments, and while you are on your way to gaining victory, you could use our award winning adult diapers to avoid accidents, and never face an embarrassing moment again. Our Wellness diapers are designed using the same principles of technology used by NASA. They’re designed to absorb wetness and tuck it away in a separate layer so that you feel dry and comfortable the whole day. They are skin-friendly, environment-friendly, odor-free and 70% more cost-effective than buying other popular brands. Take a look at all our incontinence products. You can even try a free sample as well.