There are many ways to treat stress incontinence, and the best method depends on the individual. The most common methods are pelvic floor muscle exercises and lifestyle changes. Surgery is an option for some people. Pelvic floor muscle exercises are often the first line of treatment, as they are relatively simple and have few side effects. Surgery is reserved for more severe cases with specific physiological publications. In many cases, people choose to manage stress incontinence symptoms by using protective undergarments or absorbent pads instead.
To learn the best option for you, consider the following options, talk with your healthcare provider, and try out several to see how much they help. Stress incontinence does not have to mean an end to your active lifestyle.
What Is Stress Incontinence?
This type of urinary incontinence is incredibly common especially for women. It involves small leaks of urine when you sneeze, laugh, cough, bend, or move quickly. It is not caused by illness or aging in most cases. It frequently accompanies pregnancy and can last well after having your new baby.
Pelvic Floor or Kegel Exercises
Perhaps the most common way of treating stress incontinence for women is through exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These act as a type of sling underneath the bladder and other organs and can control the flow of urine through the urethra. While it is possible that your physician or birth coach can teach you how to do these in the best way possible, they are not very difficult to learn with basic online instruction. Essentially, you tighten your pelvic floor muscles for a short period of time, relax them, and repeat the process several times throughout the day.
This simply gives your body more control over holding in the urine especially when stress is put on the bladder when you move, sneeze, or laugh.
Lifestyle Changes Can Help
Of course, no one would suggest that you stop laughing and enjoying life as a way to manage her urine flow. Besides pelvic floor and Kegel exercises, it can also help to cut back on how much you drink at certain times of the day. This is situational management another way to “cure” stress incontinence. For example, if you are going out to lunch with your friends, do not drink a lot before or during the outing. Then, your bladder will not have access urine in it that will leak as you walk around and have a good time with them.
Surgery Is Sometimes an Option
In extreme cases, surgical intervention can help with stress incontinence. This is done specifically to correct pelvic floor muscle issues and improve how your urine control sphincter closes. These are generally noninvasive procedures that do not require a lot of downtime or recovery. However, they are only recommended in a small number of cases with particular damage or physiological issues.
If you experience stress incontinence, speak with your doctor about the options available to you. It is much better to open up lines of communication and learn about your specific issues so that you can find the best solution. Above all else, do not give up your plans for an active and enthusiastic life. Simple absorbent undergarments can give you the peace of mind knowing that if you do leak urine, no one will ever know.