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8 ways to look after your bladder and help prevent incontinence:
- Drink 3 – 4 pints (1.5 – 2 litres) of fluid a day - more in hot temperatures or if exercising. Check first, though, whether any medication you are on may be affected by how much you drink
- 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 people who walk regularly are less likely to be incontinent. However, some very strenuous exercise (such as weight lifting) can actually aggravate symptoms of incontinence
- Regular pelvic floor exercises (for men as well as women!) can help to keep the pelvic floor muscles strong which will help to avoid stress incontinence