If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, you are not alone. Approximately 25 to 50% of women in the United States deal with incontinence regularly, and up to 34% of men as well. It can also affect people of any age, including teenagers and young adults.
Urinary incontinence is a problem that affects more people than you would think. Fortunately, since there are many others in your situation, there is plenty of advice and products out there to help you manage your symptoms. With the right advice, you don’t have to let incontinence get in the way of your ability to live your life.
“Approximately 25 to 50% of women
in the U.S. deal with incontinence regularly,
and up to 34% of men as well.”
Stick to a Schedule
Creating a schedule, also known as bladder training, is a vital way to manage your incontinence and urination frequency. It’s important to make sure you stick to a fluid schedule to help maintain how often your bladder becomes full. Limit your intake of drinks that increase the need to urinate, like tea and coffee. Additionally, drink plenty of water to avoid a urinary tract infection, and limit fluid intake after 6 p.m.
In turn, sticking to an established fluid schedule will also help you develop a toilet schedule. For your toilet schedule, aim to empty your bladder every two to three hours, whether it’s full or not. This will avoid the risk of it becoming too full before your next trip to the washroom, which could put you at risk for leakage.
Invest in Products That Make Your Life Easier
There are many affordable products on the market that will help you deal with your incontinence issues. Using adult diapers is a common and easy way to help manage any leaks or between-washroom accidents. Adult diapers also come in a variety of options, so you will be able to find something that suits your needs. For example, if you don’t like the feeling of a diaper, you can try protective underwear or liners. You can also purchase swimwear to help you enjoy your time in the water instead of worrying about urinary accidents.
Try out some pelvic floor muscle exercises. Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscle group that help you hold in your urine before you’re ready to go. So naturally, if you train them, they’ll help you learn to repress the urge to urinate more often. Kegel exercises target this muscle group and can be done just about anywhere, whether you’re at work or at home.
There are two main ways to do basic kegel exercises:
- While you are urinating, try to stop the flow mid-stream by squeezing those pelvic muscles. This will also help you identify which muscles you should be focusing on moving, and once you’ve found them, you can practice more often.
- Outside of the washroom, squeeze those same pelvic muscles and hold them tightly for three seconds at a time. When you first begin, do this as many times as you can. You should be able to work your way up to doing 25 to 50 exercises at a time.
Once you start to perform these exercises more often, you’ll begin to see some improvement in your ability to hold in your urine and prevent any leaks in between washroom visits. As with most things, practice makes perfect, so put this advice to the test and see the difference it will make in your life.
What are your favorite tips for managing incontinence?
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