In England, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends an initial incontinence treatment programme of conservative measures and lifestyle changes. These can be really effective for most types of incontinence.
Measures and lifestyle changes to help treat incontinence
- Bladder training helps to teach the bladder to “hold on”. It takes time and patience but has good results, reducing urgency and frequency.
- Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can improve symptoms of stress and urge type incontinence. The exercises need to be done several times a day and it will usually take a couple of months before an improvement is seen. Referral to a specialist continence physiotherapist (known as a urotherapist) may be needed if the pelvic floor muscles are weak.
- Toileting techniques: It is important to sit on the toilet properly with the feet on the floor or supported and to allow adequate time to empty the bladder. Double voiding can help to promote better bladder emptying - after urinating, walk around the bathroom, then sit on the toilet again, which will often result in a second void.
- Do not decrease your fluid intake. Many people do this in order to avoid going to the toilet frequently, but it is not recommended and can do more harm than good.
If you have tried making the changes above but still suffer from Incontinence, please see the following links for other incontinence treatment options: