|Stressors - sneezing, coughing, lifting and laughing|
"I laughed so hard, I felt the tears run down my leg"
Once you have the right incontinence products to meet your needs you can begin participating in whatever treatment your doctor recommends for you. Many times doctors will prescribe a two-fold treatment for their patients with stress incontinence. This type of treatment includes:
- Exercise-This type of treatment can be helpful because the basic cause of stress incontinence is the weakening of the muscles that are on the pelvic floor. When these muscles have weakened the person with stress incontinence will find that they leak urine when they laugh, sneeze, cough, or participate in any physical exertion. This leakage can be anything from a few drops to a complete lack of urinary control. Exercise has been found to be highly beneficial in strengthening those muscles. The recommended exercises are-
- Kegel exercises-This is the contraction and release of the muscles that make up the pelvic floor. Over time this type of exercise can be highly beneficial in strengthening the needed muscles for better urinary control.
- Cardio exercise-Stress incontinence is made worse by additional weight. If the patient is carry too much weight often times the doctor will recommend cardio exercise to help lose weight and take the pressure off of the pelvic floor muscles.
- Other physical therapy-Additional physical therapy may be prescribed depending on the health and the needs of the patient.
- Limiting alcohol, caffeine in all forms (yes that also means chocolate), citrus juices, soda and tea since all of these can act as bladder irritants and make stress incontinence worse.
- Limiting spicy foods since many people find that spicy foods can make stress incontinence worse.
- Drinking plenty of water in order to make sure the patient stays hydrated.
- Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber since constipation can make stress incontinence worse.