- Drink 3 – 4 pints (1.5 – 2 litres) of fluid a day, more in hot temperatures or if exercising. Do check first whether any medication you are on may be affected by fluid intake levels.
- Good bladder habits are important – don’t hold on too long or go “just in case”.
- Avoid constipation by eating plenty of fibre in the form of fruit, vegetables, cereal and bread. A constipated bowel can place pressure on the bladder, causing bladder problems.
- Don’t smoke! There is evidence that smoking can cause bladder irritability and is also thought to be a cause of bladder cancer. Coughing due to smoking can also provoke stress incontinence.
- Don’t take recreational drugs! It is known that some recreational drugs (e.g. Ketamine) can have devastating effects on the urinary system.
- Avoid obesity – it is known that overweight women are more at risk of incontinence.
- Exercise regularly – it has been reported that older women who walk regularly are less likely to be incontinent. However, some very strenuous exercise can aggravate symptoms of incontinence e.g. weight lifting.
- Regular pelvic floor exercises can help women to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong which will help to avoid stress incontinence.
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