For menopausal women who suffer from urinary incontinence, help may seem further away than it actually is. While embarrassing and frustrating at times, this physical change does not have to persevere for long with the proper initiatives taken. Continue reading to discover an incontinence care plan that will allow you control your bladder and, most importantly, your aging reproductive life.
Use incontinence pads
The first and most practical step to take when suffering from urinary incontinence is to wear incontinence pads. Without a doubt, they are the quickest way to prevent leakage from seeping through clothes.
As women are undergoing the incontinence care plan, they may find they no longer need the pads, but until they reach a point where there are no accidents, pads are one of the most practical solutions short-term.
Pelvic floor exercises, commonly referred to as Kegel exercises, strengthen the pelvic floor muscles for better control of the bladder and support of the uterus, small intestine, and rectum.
To perform them, women should follow some simple steps:1
- Identify the right muscles. Women can pinpoint the correct muscles by stopping urinating midstream. The muscles activated in this action are the pelvic floor muscles.
- Perfect the technique. Imagine you are sitting on a marble. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles as if lifting the marble. Hold for three seconds. Release for three seconds.
- Keep focused. When visualizing the above, work only the pelvic floor muscles, refraining from tightening the buttocks, thighs, or abdomen. Also, avoid holding the breath; breathe freely.
- Practice consistently. For heightened success, women should practice their Kegels daily, performing at least three sets of 10 to 15 Kegels.
Women may also regain control with bladder training, which increases the amount of time between urinations and the amount of fluid the bladder can sustain to ultimately reduce seepage and urgency associated with the problem.
Bladder training is usually performed in the following manner:
- Empty morning bladder. The bladder training schedule begins with the act of purposefully emptying the bladder in the morning.
- Follow established schedule. Women will have a schedule set in place by their doctors that they should adhere to. If there is a need to urinate in between, perform Kegels or relaxation techniques to suppress the urge. If the urge cannot be repressed, wait five minutes before urinating, and then, re-establish the schedule afterwards.
- Adjust schedule according to goals. Once initial goals have been met, women should increase the time in between each bladder emptying by 15-minute intervals. Each week, this time should be increased until there is a three to four hour-long interval.
- Record results. Keeping a journal will help women measure their progress and pinpoint any problematic times. Generally, it takes up to three months to accomplish the last goal. Success will come more quickly if pelvic floor muscle exercises are performed simultaneously.
Women should know that it is normal to have good and bad days. With practice, bladder training will come easier.
Adjust your diet
Certain foods and beverages may irritate the bladder, increasing the urge and frequency with which women have to urinate. They include alcohol, coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks; spicy foods; acidic fruits, like lemons, limes, and oranges; chocolate; and tomato-based products.
Moreover, while it may seem counterintuitive, women who are trying to combat urinary incontinence should increase their fluid intake as drinking too little fluid can cause a buildup of body waste products in the urine, which can also irritate the bladder.
Pursue herbal supplements
For aging women suffering from incontinence, low hormone levels are often - if not, always - to blame. Natural and effective incontinence treatments focus on the aforementioned lifestyle change alongside the use of herbal medicine proven to bring results.
They include phytoestrogenic herbal supplements that contain plant-based estrogens to resolve an estrogen deficiency or hormone-regulating supplements, which work with the endocrine system to encourage more of its own hormone production.
The previous incontinence care plan is contingent upon the fact that women have started it after consulting with their doctor about the underlying cause. In all cases, women should know that they do not have to grin and bear incontinence as they pass into and through their twilight years. With some willpower and a right attitude, relief is right around the corner!
- Mayo Clinic. (2017). Bladder control: Lifestyle strategies ease problems. Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/in-depth/bladder-control-problem/art-20046597
- MedlinePlus. (2018). When you have urinary incontinence. Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000138.htm
- UCSF Health. (n.d.). Bladder Training. Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/bladder-training
- Victoria State Government. (2018). Incontinence - tips for carers. Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/incontinence-tips-for-carers
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Kegel exercises: A how-to guide for women. Retrieved November 19, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises/art-20045283