Laughing, sneezing, and exercising can be embarrassing when you have bladder control problems, but you can take control with these simple steps.
- Step 1: Extend the time between bathroom visits.
- Step 2: Avoid foods that can irritate your bladder and increase urine leaks, such as oranges, limes, corn syrup, and chocolate.
- Step 3: Eat foods high in fiber to avoid constipation, which can lead to bladder control problems.
- FACT: Did you know? Approximately 16 million women, or one in four, in the United States experience bladder-control problems.
- Step 4: Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They increase urine production, and increase the urgency to urinate.
- Step 5: Avoid acidic juices that irritate the bladder, such as grapefruit and tomato juices.
- Step 6: Strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. To do a Kegel exercise, contract the muscles of the pelvic floor as if stopping the flow of urine, release, and repeat; do 10 sets of these three times a day.
- Step 7: Contract the rectal area as if trying to stop the passage of gas and hold for four seconds. Relax for four seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Step 8: Drink small amounts of water throughout the day instead of large amounts at one time.
- TIP: Drink most of your fluids in the morning and afternoon to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.
- FACT: Always consult a physician before attempting any exercise plan or changing your diet.