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3 steps to solve urinary incontinence

By Dr. Mary James, ND There just isn’t anything worse for your comfort, confidence and peace of mind than having to worry about getting to a bathroom in time. That’s why today, we’re curious about the answer to this question: Can you reverse urinary incontinence?

woman laughing not worried about stress urinary incontinence

I’m happy to say the answer is usually yes! Most women  can stop or prevent stress incontinence with just a few simple, all-natural steps. With this kind of urinary incontinence you leak a little pee after you cough, sneeze, laugh, stand up or maybe lift something heavy.  Millions of women experience it. It can be very frustrating because it interferes with the stuff that’s really important in your life. Some women have stress incontinence multiple times a day, while others only have issues once a month. It can develop when your pelvic floor muscles are weakened, maybe as a result of pregnancy or being overweight.

So if you’re having stress incontinence every time you hear something funny, these tips are for you:

Practice Kegels

First, begin practicing an easy exercise known as Kegels. Kegels strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which are supporting all the organs in your lower pelvis. The muscles you’re targeting with Kegels are the ones you squeeze if you’re trying to stop peeing midstream. Tighten these muscles as much as you can for 5 seconds, then relax them for 5 seconds, then tighten again. Do that 5 times in a row, but not while you’re peeing. And don’t clench your butt, your belly or your thighs, or hold your breath. Gradually work up to 10-second holds and 10-second releases. Try to do Kegels every couple of hours at first.  After you’ve begun to rebuild  muscle tone in your pelvic floor, increase the frequency. Kegel bonuses? You can do them anywhere, anytime, without anyone noticing, even while walking or doing other things. They can also improve your sexual satisfaction a lot. And they help with other forms of urinary incontinence too.  What’s not to like?

Take a probiotic

You probably already know about the gut microbiome, a collection of bacteria living in the lining of the gut that is pivotal for digestive health. Turns out, your urinary tract also has a unique microbiome — and if you have urinary incontinence, it’s a sign that you need to pay attention to it. 

According to recent research in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women with urinary incontinence had different urinary microbiomes compared to women without continence issues. The good news? The same probiotic that helps to improve gut health can help improve the flora lining the urinary tract too. Look for a high-quality probiotic supplement with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria for maximum diversity.

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Cut back on caffeine and alcohol

If you’re drinking caffeine and alcohol, cut back. Both are diuretics, which means they have effects on your kidneys and increase your urinary urgency. As a result, you pee more often and with less ability to wait.

Bonus tip! Drink more water

Third, keep getting plenty of water every day — about half your weight in ounces — but drink most of it before 4 p.m., especially if you are having any nighttime incontinence. That’s it! These tips really work to stop stress incontinence before it happens. So don’t let a little pee get you down. Do something about it right now!

Last Updated: February 14, 2024
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