If you struggle with urinary incontinence, then in the long term, you may want to look into procedures to reduce or eliminate your incontinence. Pelvic floor reconstruction and bladder neck suspension are two such procedures. In the shorter term, though, you'll want to focus on daily strategies and solutions to help manage your incontinence and avoid embarrassment. Here are a few such strategies.
Wear Absorbent Underwear
People often avoid wearing absorbent underwear because they think it will feel like a diaper. But in fact, absorbent underwear is not like a diaper. It's not nearly as bulky. There's just a small amount of absorbent filling where it is needed most. This won't be enough to hold a whole bladder's worth of urine, but it will definitely absorb the amount that typically sneaks out when you're dealing with an average case of incontinence. The first time or two that you wear it, you might notice the bulk, but you'll soon get used to it.
Schedule Bathroom Breaks
When you suffer from incontinence, waiting too long between bathroom breaks can lead to leaks. But going too often is not good either, as it allows your pelvic floor muscles to weaken over time, lessening your ability to "hold it." So, most people with incontinence benefit from scheduling their bathroom breaks. At first, you may want to leave an hour between bathroom breaks. Slowly increase this time until you can go three to four hours between bathroom breaks.
Say "No" to Caffeine
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes you to urinate more often. This is not very helpful when you have incontinence. If you're currently using caffeine, take steps to slowly wean yourself away from it. Some people find that once they stop using caffeine, their incontinence is barely noticeable.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can make incontinence worse since the extra tissue can place pressure on your bladder. So, if you are overweight, try to take small steps towards weight loss every day. Eat healthily and get some exercise. If you are a healthy weight currently, make sure you work towards maintaining that weight.
Urinary incontinence can be a pain to deal with. Thankfully, the tips above can help you out. In the long run, make sure you also talk to your doctor about the incontinence and see what they recommend. There may be a procedure available that can bring you more permanent relief.