In as much as everyone shies away from talking about bladder incontinence, it is a pretty common problem among women. Pregnancy, childbirth, age, and hormonal deficiency are the most common causes of the weakening of the bladder muscles. Lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol intake, caffeine, and ingestion of acidic or spicy foods are also causes of bladder incontinence. Luckily, this condition is treatable through the following ways:
1. Kegel exercises for women
These exercises, when done correctly and over time will strengthen your pelvic muscles. You first need to establish the muscles you should be exercising. To do this, sit on the toilet and start to urinate and after a few seconds pause by squeezing the pelvic muscles but not moving your legs. You may need to do this a few times to ascertain that you will be working on the correct muscle group. The main advantage of Kegel exercises for women is their flexibility; you can comfortably schedule them into your daily routine.
- Pelvic floor exercises
These exercises include short and long contractions of the pelvic floor muscle. While long contractions focus on time, short contractions are supposed to tighten the pelvic floor muscles as quickly as possible. For long contractions, you may want to start by contracting the muscles for at least 3 seconds and build on this until you can do it for 10 seconds. Try performing the short and long contractions in different positions, such as when standing, lying down, or sitting.
Training your bladder to hold more urine could sound counterintuitive, but it actually helps. First, determine how many times you need to visit the bathroom and extend the time between the bathroom breaks. Though it might be uncomfortable in the beginning, you will have greater control of the pelvic muscles in the end.
Bladder incontinence can also be medically cured. Should the symptoms persist even after exercising or taking in medication, a surgery to repair damaged pelvic organs is recommended. Further, a person suffering from this condition should avoid foods that trigger bladder irritation. Reduced fluid intake, especially at night, reduces the chances of an overactive bladder.
Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine will strengthen your muscles and help you regain control of your bladder in the end. As with other exercises, do not expect immediate results. However, you will notice some significant improvement after 3 months. Do not overdo bladder exercises as you could overtire or injure your pelvic floor muscles, thus worsening the situation. Finally, do not shy away from discussing your problem with a gynecologist or urologist.