|1||Do seek medical help||If you haven’t sought help – put this as a priority. Go to the doctor, your local continence nurse, or a physio.|
|2||Do your pelvic floor exercises||Start today! Squeeze and draw-in the muscles around your bottom hole and your girly-parts at the same time. Lift them UP inside – all the way. Hold them strong and tight for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times (3 times a day).|
|3||Keep active and strengthen your core||Some activities are better than others. Yoga and pilates are two activities that are great for strengthening your core and they have the added benefit of incorporating mindfulness and relaxation. This is partially helpful – as incontinence is often connected with anxiety and depression.|
|4||Minimize bladder irritants||Unfortunately, caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and spicy/acidic foods can irritate the bladder and make leaks worse. If you find this to be a hard one to change – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.|
|5||Don’t strain with number 2’s||Try to keep your bowel movements regular, because being constipated or straining while going number 2’s can overstretch your pelvic floor muscles and make urinary incontinence worse.|
|6||Avoid lifting||Lifting strains your pelvic floor muscles – so avoid it whenever you can.|
Not such a bad thing. Ask for help!
|7||Re-train your bladder||Often your bladder is only 60% full when you get the urge to go pee.|
Train your bladder to hold more urine without leaking by delaying your pee past the point of your urge to go. First try to delay by five minutes. Then aim to build up to twenty minutes or more. While you wait – take a few deep breaths and do a few pelvic floor exercises.
|8||Wear something that won’t limit your activities||Reusable pads or leakproof underwear provide helpful backup support for you to rely on while you are working on the options above.|
|9||Surgical treatment||Surgical treatment may be required for more acute cases of pelvic floor or prolapse. The operation involves inserting a synthetic mesh implant (aka a ‘sling’). But this comes with many mixed reviews. Up to 50% of US women are affected by pelvic floor prolapse – and of those who decide to have surgery – up to 30% may require re-operation to fix it.|
|10||Nonsurgical treatment||A number of internal and external treatments are available, including kegal toners e.g. muscle stimulators and kegel balls, laser therapy, and vaginal pessaries (removable prosthetic devise).|