Broadly speaking there are two types of urinary incontinence – stress incontinence and urge incontinence; or the incontinence could be of a mixed type. This is a condition that may seem to be just a mild inconvenience, but in fact, can be detrimental to a woman’s wellbeing and quality of life. It can be an embarrassing, isolating, and stressful condition.
Another reason not to ignore incontinence is that it could be the symptom of a serious underlying problem, which should be detected and treated.
What actually is urinary stress incontinence?
Stress incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine during certain activities such as lifting something heavy, coughing, sneezing and even laughing. Any activity that puts pressure on the bladder could cause some leakage of urine. This is a condition that is much more common among women than men.
Weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and control urine release is the main cause of stress incontinence. Childbirth is the most common reason for stress incontinence. Some types of surgery could also result in this problem. Obesity, urinary tract infections, excess caffeine and alcohol consumption, conditions such as diabetes and certain medications could also be responsible for the condition or for exacerbating it.
Simple home remedies
Given below are some simple remedies that should work well for this condition:
1. Do Kegel exercises: Doing your Kegel’s pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the pelvic muscles. Learn to do them the correct way, and perform them frequently and regularly for best results.
2. Avoid constipation: It can contribute to incontinence. Consume more fiber and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation. Another reason to drink plenty of water is to prevent the urine from becoming too concentrated. Very concentrated urine can irritate the bladder.
3. Control your weight: Being overweight or obese is a contributing factor for stress incontinence. Getting the body weight down within the normal BMI ranges can help by reducing the physical pressure on the muscles of the pelvic floor and the bladder.
4. Give up smoking: It causes coughing which causes urine leakage. Also lower intake of alcohol and caffeine, because these can irritate the bladder and also stimulate it. Certain spicy foods and citrusy drinks can also exacerbate the problem.
5. Change your habits: It can also be possible to control stress incontinence by making small changes to daily habits. Use the bathroom more frequently and make sure that you empty your bladder completely by leaning forward.
If these home remedies do not work, it would be best to have the problem evaluated by a medical practitioner. This can help to detect any underlying conditions and remedies such as medication, and in extreme cases, surgery as well may be considered.