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Behavioural changes

There are a number of behavioural changes that you can make to help you to manage stress incontinence.

Moderate your fluid intake

The more you drink, the more you urinate, but drinking enough fluid is essential to you health.

The key is to find the right balance - enough to ensure that you remain hydrated, but not so much that you trigger an involuntary act. Decisions on what you drink and when you drink it can help you manage your condition. Try to avoid drinking large amount before you go out and cut down on caffeinated drinks and alcohol, which both increase the amount of urine you produce.

Urinate regularly

Planning your trips to the loo can help. Try going every two hours regardless of need - this will avoid an build up of pressure. And empty your bladder before you do things that involve risk, such as taking exercise or going somewhere without a loo.

Maintain a healthy weight

Extra pounds put extra weight on your bladder, worsening your condition.

Stop smoking

Smoking causes and triggers coughing, a major trigger event. Chemical changes in your body caused by smoking also reduce your pelvic floor's effectiveness.

Poo regularly

A full rectum increases pressure on your bladder and urethra, so regular movements can help. But don't strain, as pushing too hard on a regular basis can damage your pelvic floor.

Exercise

Exercises that work your core muscles, such as Pilates and yoga, can help strengthen your pelvic floor.

For a more detailed look at behavioural changes, we recommend that you look at The Kegel Fix, by Andrew L. Seigel.

A help, but not a treatment

It is important to remember that these changes may reduce the severity or frequency of incidents, but they are not a treatment. The most effective treatment for stress incontinence is pelvic floor exercise.

NEXT - self-help pelvic floor (or "Kegel") exercises

 

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