Urinary incontinence – something many women go through, but no one wants to talk about, are we right? Well, silence breeds no results, so we’ve rounded up some of the best things you can do to fight back against incontinence and prevent leakage where and when you can.
Among the other health reasons for quitting tobacco, reducing the strain coughing places on your pelvic muscles is an important one.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but strengthening those floor muscles (you know, the ones that directly affect your bladder – a muscular sac itself) will help to, ahem, close the floodgates and keep them that way. To start, you will want to sit on the floor (you can even do these while watching your favorite show!) and squeeze your pelvic muscles 10-15 times in a row. You should make sure you are not holding your breath or sucking in your stomach at the same time. Hold each squeeze for a few seconds as you do these exercises more and more regularly.
Drink Less Coffee
We know, we know – this one is easier said than done. Who doesn’t need that little bit of coffee to get you going in the morning? But, if you find yourself sipping on coffee, tea, or sodas throughout the day, consider scaling back the amount. Caffeine is an irritant to the bladder, thereby making incontinence only worse
If you can only cut one beverage, though, coffee is by far the worst in terms of effect, so consider switching to decaf or subbing in green tea or cold seltzer water.
Cut Back Your Alcohol Intake
In the same vein as cutting caffeine, you will want to do the same for alcohol. It is a diuretic, which means it makes you need to urinate more often, which, in turn, does not help with incontinence.
Reduce Straining and Lifting
Lifting up heavy loads? Guess what? That puts the strain on your pelvic floor muscles. If you must pick something up, take a pause, and intentionally tighten the floor muscles before you lift and while you are lifting.
Drinking a bunch of fluids may seem counterintuitive, but you actually want to stay hydrated and stay ahead of being dehydrated. Dehydration can cause bladder irritation which, you guessed it, causes incontinence.
Make sure you are not waiting until you feel super parched to drink and aim for a daily consumption goal of two liters of water. Water is, of course, the best fluid, but you can stay hydrated with juice, tea, and others, avoiding unnecessary sugars and sticking to pure water is the best.
Have a Backup Plan
Hopefully, these tips will help you in your fight against in incontinence, but, as a great safety net, you may want to invest in a pair or two of leak-proof underwear to help catch the little leaks that may catch you by surprise. Having a plan B, no matter all your work is never a bad idea.