Urinary incontinence is a problem for women of all ages, but more common as women grow older. It can also sneak up on women because it can start small and increase gradually over time. If you are having issues with bladder control, there are several solutions. Read about how to control your bladder below.
Don’t Be Embarrassed
Urinary incontinence often causes shame or embarrassment; however, it is a treatable medical condition, not something that you are doing wrong. Causes range from injury to urinary tract infections. Before you try to self-treat, visit your urologist for a diagnosis. You may find that your symptoms are the signs of an underlying issue that needs to be treated. At the very least, you can rule out infection and several other causes.
Improve Pelvic Floor Muscle Tone
It is possible that over time, your pelvic muscles that control the opening of your bladder have weakened. To improve their strength, you can do a simple exercise called a Kegel. The Kegel exercise can be done literally anywhere. If you practice it regularly, you will improve your bladder control. While you are either standing or sitting, simply squeeze the muscles that hold in your urine for as long as you can. Then release the muscles. If you practice this exercise several times a day, you may regain some bladder control.
Reduce Liquid Intake
Although it is important to drink liquids, you can control how much you drink at one time. If you know you will be somewhere that you will not have access to a bathroom, reduce your liquid intake for an hour or so before you go. You can also stop drinking an hour or more before you go to sleep to reduce the number of times you need to urinate during the night.
Eliminate Caffeine and Alcohol
Some drinks cause more urination than others. Alcohol and caffeine are two substances that increase urination. They also may irritate your urinary tract. Other foods may cause irritation including spicy foods or foods that you are sensitive to. To help with bladder control, limit those foods from your diet, especially at night.
Schedule Bathroom Breaks
You can limit any urinary leakage by scheduling bathroom breaks to keep your bladder empty. If you know that you get the urge to urinate every 3 hours, then plan a scheduled bathroom break every 2 1/2 hours. This schedule gives you the control over your bladder instead of it controlling you.