Signs and Symptoms
1. Leaking a small amount of urine when coughing, exercising, laughing, or otherwise putting pressure on the bladder.
2. Uncontrollable urge to urinate.
3. Urinating without knowing it.
What to do now
1. Cross your legs if you feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Researches who tested this technique say it is a safe, simple way to cut down on or even eliminate stress incontinence.
2. Keep a diary of when you urinate unexpectedly. Note how much urine is lost and what you were doing at the time. This information will help your doctor determine the kind or kinds of incontinence you’re experiencing and make treatment more effective.
3. Wear disposable, absorbent undergarments if you’re going out and are worried about an accident. It’s important to continue your normal activities and avoid one of the dangers of incontinence: social isolation. But think of this only as a short-term solution. Wearing them too long can cause rashes and other complications.
4. Schedule a trip to the bathroom every hour, whether or not you have to urinate.
5. Avoid drinking a lot of liquid while you are away from home.
When to call a doctor
1. If you are experiencing any bladder control problems.
2. If you have signs of an infection, such as fever or pain during urination.
How to prevent it
Practice the following exercises, which tone the muscles that control urination:
1. As you start and stop the flow of urine sense which muscles you’re working. Later, contract and release them-at least 15 to 20 squeezes, three times a day. After some practice tighten the muscles for at least ten seconds each time. The exercises are completely private: You’re the only one who will know you’re doing them.
2. Lose extra pounds and exercise regularly.
3. Excess body weight puts pressure on the bladder muscles.
4. Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains to avoid constipation. The straining that accompanies constipation can weaken bladder muscles.
5. Avoid alcohol, and caffeine which can irritate the bladder and trigger leaks.
6. Ask your doctor about using biofeedback to treat your incontinence.