Do you sometimes ‘leak’ when you sneeze or cough? Perhaps you feel damp when exercising or don’t quite make it to the toilet on time? Don’t despair because you can do something about it!
1: Exercise your pelvic floor
Strong healthy pelvic floor muscles are essential for staying dry. A physiotherapist skilled in incontinence can show you the correct exercises.
2: Take care when you cough or sneeze.
Lift and hold your pelvic floor muscles. This will strengthen the muscles and prevent leakage.
3: Limit picking up heavy objects
Lift and hold your pelvic floor muscles to avoid bending down and straining. Remember to look after your back as well!
4: Keep exercising your pelvic floor throughout your child-bearing years and beyond.
Pregnancy and childbirth can weaken your pelvic floor
5: Constipation can strain your pelvic floor
So eat a lot of fibre and drink plenty of fluids to maintain a regular bowel habit. Learn the ‘proper’ way to sit on the toilet to reduce strain and protect your pelvic floor!
6: Keep drinking normal amounts of fluid.
Reducing your fluid intake will not prevent or stop leakage, but could in fact make things worse! To stay healthy most people need between 1.5 and 2 litres of fluid every day.
7: Limit your intake of tea and coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
Caffeine increases the urge to go to the toilet. Limit your caffeine to 2-3 drinks per day.
8: Don’t go to the toilet ‘just in case’.
Train your bladder to hold more urine by delaying going to the toilet
9: Beware of infections
Urinary tract infections and cystitis where bacteria spread from the bowel to the bladder, increase the urge to go to the toilet. To prevent infection always wipe yourself from the front to the back.
10: Don’t just ‘pad it up’
Pads may not be the best or only solution! Fixing your problem may be possible and would mean throwing away incontinence pads forever!
Julie, our women’s health physiotherapist can show you how to use and exercise your pelvic floor muscles effectively. Why don’t you regain control and make an appointment to see her today? Ph: 38053223