Methods for Bladder Control Without Surgery

Incontinence is an embarrassing problem for many women. The causes can often be traced back to pregnancy and childbirth, which sometimes weaken the pelvic-floor muscles. These muscles also naturally weaken as a woman ages, and this can also lead to bladder-control problems. Before seeking a surgical solution to this problem, consider some of the non-surgical treatments to see if they help solve the problem. The following guide can help.

Kegel exercises

These exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor, so they work best for women that suffer stress incontinence (bladder leakage when sneezing or coughing). Doing these exercises before, throughout, and immediately after pregnancy may even help you avoid the incontinence that often follows while regular practicing of the pelvic-floor muscles can help prevent incontinence due to aging.

To perform kegels, follow these steps:

  1. While urinating, flex the muscles that stop the stream. These are your pelvic-floor muscles and the ones you will be exercising. (Locating the muscles is the only time you will do the exercise when urinating.)

  2. Tighten these muscles for a count of three, just as you would do to stop a urine stream. Slowly work up to 10 seconds over the course of a week or two.

  3. Do 10 repetitions two or three times a day. Upon waking, at lunch, and again before bed is a good time. You can also do these exercises while driving, perhaps during your morning and evening commutes.

Bladder Training

Not all incontinence is simply stress caused, which means bladder training is also necessary. Sometimes the bladder contracts and leaks even when it isn't full, while for others experience a bladder overflows because they do not receive the nerve signal that the bladder is full. These issues are often combined with stress incontinence, so bladder training is usually done in tandem with kegels.

The methods for bladder training are simple.

  1. Schedule bathroom visits. Begin by visiting the bathroom at the interval necessary to avoid leakage—for example, every 45 minutes.

  2. Slowly increase the time in 10-minute increments, making the effort to hold it until this length of time has passed. You may want to wear incontinence liners during this period in case of leakage.

  3. Once you can easily hold your bladder for the increased time, add another 10 minutes to the length of time. Continue to increase this time until you can hold it for a couple of hours without leakage.

Contact a doctor or a professional such as Vesy Lab for more advice on nonsurgical bladder-control options.