Urinary Incontinence Treatment
Natural Overactive Bladder Treatments
Make regular trips to the restroom to reduce the chance of urine leakage.
- Avoid caffeine like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and sodas.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
- Weight loss helps take pressure off your stomach, bladder, and pelvic organs
- Stop smoking: this includes cigarettes, vapes, and chewing tobacco
- Fluid management -- drinking less fluid during the day helps the bladder
- Bladder training -- set a schedule for toileting if you have mixed incontinence
The following may make your stress incontinence worse due to bladder irritation:
* artificial sweeteners
* tobacco or cigarettes
Urinary Incontinence Medication
There are currently no approved medications to specifically treat stress incontinence in the United States. However, the antidepressant duloxetine (Cymbalta, Drizalma Sprinkle) is used for the treatment of stress incontinence in Europe. Nausea is the most common side effect that makes people stop taking the medication. Symptoms of stress incontinence quickly return when the drug is stopped.
"Please always consult directly with your primary doctor or physician before taking any medication as side effects differ from person to person."
Your doctor may prescribe medications that reduce bladder contractions, for stress incontinence. These include drugs such as:
Your doctor may also prescribe mediation designed to treat an overactive bladder, for urge incontinence, such as:
What Lifestyle changes can treat Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises (Kegel exercises)
Kegel exercises help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You perform Kegels by contracting (squeezing) and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles many times each day. Pelvic floor muscles help support the bladder and other organs. Exercising these muscles can make them stronger and help reduce or eliminate your SUI symptoms. To get the most benefit, do these exercises every day. To make sure you perform these exercises correctly, your healthcare provider may refer you to a physical therapist. This therapist is someone who specializes in strengthening pelvic muscles.
Maintain Good Bowel Function
Constipation can make incontinence worse. Try to prevent constipation. Eat high fiber foods (fruit, beans and dark-colored vegetables) to encourage regular bowel movements. It helps to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day, and exercise daily.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop SUI. Losing weight reduces the severity of SUI. Many people find that losing just 10 pounds can lead to fewer leaks. Your healthcare provider can help you set safe, realistic goals for weight loss.
A bladder diary is the starting point for bladder training. You record: (1) how much you drink; (2) when you urinate; and (3) when leaks occur. The diary allows you and your healthcare provider to see how often you urinate now and whether bladder training can help you. With bladder training, your healthcare provider may ask you to follow a fixed schedule to urinate. You may be asked to lengthen the time between bathroom visits by small amounts over time. It is important to try this only if your healthcare provider suggests it as some people have more urine leaks when they wait too long to go to the bathroom.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. A chronic cough from smoking may increase the frequency and severity of leaks. It may also cause added strain to the pelvic floor. When you quit smoking, coughing may decrease. This helps to reduce pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, which reduces leaks.
Coping and support for urinary incontinence
Treatments for stress incontinence can often substantially reduce, and possibly eliminate, urine leakage. Some people will still have urine leakage every now and then. Being prepared for this possibility may help you cope and manage the symptoms in your day to day life. Here are a few ideas to make urinary incontinence management easier to handle:
*Maintaining your connection with family, friends and co-workers can prevent feelings of isolation and depression that can accompany incontinence.
* Stock up on supplies. Take along sufficient incontinence pads or protective undergarments and possibly a change of clothes. Incontinence products are discreet and can be stowed in a roomy purse or a small backpack. Extra supplies and spare clothes can be kept in the trunk of your car or a backpack for use when needed. You will be relieved to have a spare set of clothes in the case of any emergency.
* Scout out your destination. Familiarize yourself with the restrooms available at your destination. Choose seating that allows easy access to restrooms in places like restaurants, movie theaters, and sporting stadiums.
* Talk with your partner. As difficult as this may be initially, be upfront with your partner about your urinary incontinence symptoms. A partner's understanding and willingness to accommodate your needs can make your symptoms much easier to handle, and help you feel supported through your daily life.
* Empty your bladder at regular times. To reduce your chances of leakage, avoid drinking fluids for an hour or so before bedtime and empty your bladder before having to sit down for prolonged periods of time.
* Do your Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce urine leakage.
* Be prepared. Using a protective mattress pad or using disposable bed pads on your bed may ease your worry and contain any leakage during the night, and prevents a load of soiled laundry in the morning.