Urinary Incontinence: Prevention

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Urinary Incontinence: Prevention
Urinary Incontinence: Prevention
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Urinary Incontinence: Prevention

Urinary incontinence can be prevented at a young age. Among other things, the pelvic floor muscles can be specifically trained. Most of the exercises can be done unnoticed and can therefore be easily integrated into everyday life. In addition, you should avoid excessive strain such as being overweight and lifting heavy loads, as well as ensuring a high-fiber diet and sufficient exercise…

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  • ">Exercise the pelvic floor muscles

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  • ">">Protection from physical strain

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  • ">">Correct behavior in the toilet

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  • ">">Reduce excess weight

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  • ">">Avoid diuretic drinks

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  • ">">Make sure you have regular bowel movements

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The following measures are recommended to prevent urinary incontinence:

Exercise the pelvic floor muscles

Even simple exercises such as the pelvic floor lift strengthen these muscles. Such exercises are named after their inventor Arnold Kegel (hence the name "Kegel exercises"). This training is particularly recommended during pregnancy and especially after childbirth (postnatal gymnastics). This form of training shows good results even with existing incontinence. At first it is difficult to see how these muscle layers can be consciously activated. Most exercises can be carried out unnoticed, for example in the office or on the tram, and can therefore be easily integrated into everyday life. Tips are provided by numerous guides or video instructions; special trainers such asPhysiotherapists or midwives help you learn the right technique and specific exercises.

You can find more information on pelvic floor training on the website of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare. You can find out more about the effectiveness of pelvic floor training at www.medizin-transparent.at.

Specific examples of exercises such as a pelvic floor lift and a cat hump can be found under Urinary Incontinence: Therapy.

Protection from physical strain

Gentle lifting not only relieves the spine, but also the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Therefore, you should lift off your knees if possible and carry the load close to your body. Women should never lift too heavily (max. 10 kg). Particular attention should be paid to physical restraint during menstruation. Good, upright posture is also recommended.

Correct behavior in the toilet

Contrary to popular belief, it is not good training for the bladder muscles to "pinch off" while urinating. Strong pressure on the toilet ("stomach press") also has a negative impact on the pelvic floor muscles. In addition, you should not go to the toilet too often, but also not too rarely: If you urinate too often, this can reduce the bladder capacity or the bladder muscle never reaches its complete stretch. If, however, going to the toilet is saved for too long, the bladder wall can overstretch.

Reduce excess weight

Being very overweight is not only a risk factor for various metabolic diseases, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus type 2 and various joint diseases, but also damages the tissue in the abdominal cavity in the long term and increases their weight due to the fatty degeneration of internal organs. All of this puts additional stress on the pelvic floor muscles and can promote urinary incontinence.

When losing weight, make a long-term change in diet. This is the only way to achieve the desired success. As a rule of thumb: lose a maximum of half a kilogram to one kilogram per week. This corresponds to a maximum reduction in body weight of between 25 and 50 kilograms per year. Use the Austrian food pyramid as a guide for a balanced diet.

For more information, see Healthy Weight Loss and Diet and Obesity.

Avoid diuretic drinks

Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and black tea can have a negative effect on the development of incontinence. Carbonated and alcoholic beverages can also increase the urge to urinate.

Make sure you have regular bowel movements

Severe constipation leads to strong pressure during bowel movements, which can sometimes damage the pelvic floor. Make sure you have regular bowel movements with a balanced diet. Fruit and vegetables as well as fiber are beneficial for this. Adequate fluid intake is also important for regular bowel movements. Exercise also promotes healthy digestion, e.g. Nordic walking or hiking.

For more information, see If your digestion is on strike!

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