Disclaimer: The content provided in this article are general pieces of information, they are not meant to offer medical advice. Please consult your medical doctor or healthcare professional for specific advice related to your personal circumstances.
Urinary incontinence affects millions of women worldwide and 50% of American women. This explains the need for incontinence panties and other alternative solutions.
Whereas some women only lose a few urine drops whenever they cough, jump or run, others experience a sudden and strong urgency to pass urine prior to actually doing so. Most women go through both types of urinary incontinence.
Continence in women is debilitating and bothersome, increasing your risk of getting embarrassed in public places. This can keep you from enjoying the activities you love doing with friends and family.
Types of Urinary Incontinence in Women
Enlargement of your pelvic floor muscles leads to incontinence. The different types of urine leakage in women include:
- Urge incontinence
- Stress incontinence
- Functional incontinence
- Overactive bladder
- Mixed incontinence
- Overflow incontinence
- Transient incontinence
Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Women
Your bladder, an organ that resembles a balloon, stores urine, water and other wastes from your kidneys. Urine leaves your body through the urethra.
Muscles that line your bladder wall contract when you urinate. Urine is then forced out of your bladder into the urethra. Similarly, sphincter muscles around your urethra relax to allow urine out of your body.
However, sudden contraction of your bladder muscles or weak sphincter muscles causes urine incontinence. Your bladder may change position if surrounding muscles get injured, leading to urine passage with less pressure.
Apart from physical activities, other causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Sexual activity and emotional distress
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Neurologic injury
- Issues with nerves and muscles that release and hold urine
- Structure of your urinary tract
- Obesity and increased abdominal pressure
- Birth defects
- Weight gain
- Physical issues such as aging
- Multiple sclerosis
6 Tips to Help You Manage Urinary Incontinence in Women
No single treatment works for two different women with urinary incontinence. And, you can enhance your bladder control without undergoing surgery.
Although incontinence can affect women at any age, it’s more common in older mothers than their younger counterparts. With the help of your doctor, you can find a solution to your medical problem.
Various simple solutions can help you manage urinary incontinence. Consulting your Physio about urine leakage can make things better for you. A combination of self-help strategies and behavior modification, including medication can improve your pelvic muscles as follows:
1. Do pelvic floor/ Kegel exercises
With strong pelvic floor muscles, your bladder holds urine better. Whether prostate surgery, pregnancy or overweight issues are linked to your weak floor muscles, you can improve them through kegel exercises. The exercises strengthen pelvic muscles to reduce symptoms.
Do kegel exercises for at least 2 hours daily to prevent or stop urine leakage. They’re also handy if you experience sudden urges to urinate. Also known as quick flicks, kegels contract muscles fast to relax them. This stops the urgency sensation.
2. Limit alcohol, caffeine and excessive water intake
A full bladder is more likely to cause urine leaks. Excessive consumption of liquids, including water, results in an urgent need to empty your bladder.
Alcohol and caffeine boost the production of urine, meaning you’ll spend more time in the toilet on a given day. Drink about 8 glasses of water daily. However, your intake must reduce post 4 p.m. into the night. This reduces urine concentration and prevents it from irritating your bladder’s lining.
The drinks cause more than an urge, leading to leaks.
3. Wear incontinence panties
Invest in some incontinence underwear to help manage urine leaks. These incontinence panties, for example, are made from premium materials with high absorbency to prevent urine leaks from showing on your pants or dress.
Incontinence underwear are smooth and made from natural materials for organic and eco-friendly use. They are also discreet comfortable and washable for reuse. This also helps save costs long term.
When working out or indulging in your daily exercise routines, the panties are made for a perfect fit and added comfort.
4. Bladder training
Develop a habit of urinating before you get the urge to keep your bladder empty. According to a Stanford University School of Medicine urology professor, Craig Comiter, MD, an empty bladder doesn’t leak.
If you get the urge every couple of hours, urinate about 30 minutes earlier to prevent leaks. Combine bladder training with pelvic floor exercises for the best outcomes. Vary the wait times before you empty your bladder to enhance your strategy and reduce the risk of an accident.
5. Use a wearable device
Your doctor can fit a soft silicone device, a pessary, into your vagina to support its muscles and prevent leakage.
If you leak when engaging in physical activities such as jumping and jogging, your doctor may recommend tampons. Wearing tampons only during your activities is more convenient than having it on all the time.
Change your tampons every 6 hours and use a maximum of two daily to prevent toxic shock syndrome.
6. Work on weight loss
Excess weight exerts pressure on your urethra (the tube that connects your bladder to the vagina) and bladder, leading to urine leakage. This is true for stress incontinence and urine leaks that result from laughter, coughs, lifting, and sneezing.
Studies show that weight loss can help women with obesity or excess weight to ease the pressure on their bladder and reduce urine leaks.
Urinary incontinence in women is common during and after pregnancy. Women also increasingly experience urine leaks as they age and their pelvic muscles weaken. You can manage your condition through various techniques ranging from kegel exercises to using incontinence panties for comfort.
Bio: Anna Williams is a former aged care worker and has since, spent over a decade advocating and educating the general public about senior health issues. She now enjoys a slower paced life writing for Zorbies, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and hiking local trails on weekends with her 2 beloved pups.