If you are experiencing stress incontinence, there are several things that you can do to address the issue. First, it is important to recognize what this type of incontinence is. Instead of a functional issue or one caused by different disorder and occurs when extra pressure is put on the bladder from physical stresses. In most cases, it involves just a small leakage of urine after sneezing, laughing, or moving in certain ways.
Common Causes of Stress Incontinence
As mentioned above, the main causes of stress incontinence include a physical action of some sort. You may find that you leak or have an accident if your abdominal muscles tighten when you laugh out loud, these suddenly, or bend over to tie your shoes. For women, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are some of the most common contributing factors. Other causes can include obesity, a history of pelvic surgery or radiation therapy, and conditions that affect muscular or nerve function like multiple sclerosis. While these things can cause different types of incontinence, this still has to be a physical trigger to categorize it this way.
Managing Stress Incontinence Symptoms
First, consider using absorbent pads or inserts in your underwear or adult diapers. Although this will not cure the problem, it can certainly give you greater peace of mind that you will not have an embarrassing accident. Limiting fluid intake before you go out and using the bathroom frequently can also help.
Second, try pelvic floor muscle or Kegel exercises. These simple techniques can make the muscles that hold up your bladder and control urinary flow stronger. You do not have to be an athlete to do this, and you do not need special equipment.
Consider finding support groups or forums online to discuss your experience and learn from others who have gone through similar challenges. Other people with stress incontinence may have unique ideas that you have not considered yet.
Finally, talk to your doctor about possible treatments or medical devices that can help you live a more comfortable and freer life from stress incontinence.
Possible Treatments for Stress Incontinence
No prescription medication is available in the United States for stress incontinence today, although there are a few approved four different types of urinary incontinence issues. Women who experience this problem could be viable candidates for urethral inserts, which are disposable devices that block the flow of urine for a small amount of time, or a pessary, which is a temporary fact to insert for those specifically with prolapsed bladders. Surgery is also an option in some cases, but this requires careful consideration by your physician and only suits people with certain specific issues.
In general, managing stress incontinence through pelvic floor muscle exercises and wearing absorbent undergarments is the best way to improve the symptoms and live an active lifestyle without fear of embarrassing leaks.