It is not always possible to prevent urinary incontinence, but adopting a healthier lifestyle may reduce the chances of the condition from developing further.
Obesity increases your risk of developing urinary incontinence. Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and healthy eating to avoid it.
Ask your GP for advice about the amount and type of fluids that you should drink. Cut down on alcohol and drink containing caffeine, such as tea, coffee and cola.
Pelvic floor exercises
Being pregnant and giving birth can weaken the muscles that control the flow of urine from your bladder. If you are pregnant, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles may help prevent urinary incontinence. Men may also benefit from strengthening their pelvic floor muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises.
Choose a right incontinence product that is suitable to your need, according to your mobility state.
Do pelvic floor exercises
Simply clench and unclench your pelvis floor muscles. Which muscles are those? Next time you wee, stop the stream of urine midway. Presto! You’ve just found your pelvic floor muscles and completed your first pelvic floor exercise.
Stick to wee timetable
Timed urination helps keep the bladder empty. Discern a timetable that’s best for you. Recommended to start with a timed urination every one or two hours.
Fill the void
Take your time in the toilet. After you’ve finished urinating, relax a bit and then urinate again. This practice, called double voiding, help to empty the bladder.
Keep the path clear
Clear the obstacles along the path to your toilet for easy access. Wear easy to release clothes, like elastic waistbands and Velcro closure.
Keep yourself clean.
Follow good hygiene and maintain body cleanliness. Be sure to put on fresh undergarments only, Wash Yourself thoroughly after every incontinence episode.
Use odour-reducing incontinence products.
If you wear adult diapers or incontinence pads, make sure to read the package to see if the product contains odour-reducing materials. The odour reducer should not be a perfume that covers up smell, but a substance that keeps odour from forming in the first place. Certainty® product range has "Fresh Guard" feature to minimize bacterial growth and trap unpleasant odours.
Wash urine collection devices thoroughly.
Disinfect reusable parts with commercial cleanser or with a solution containing one part white vinegar and two parts water. Don’t bother with bleach as it is harsh and does not dissolve urine crystals as well as vinegar.
Wash bed sheets and clothing often.
Use either white vinegar or baking soda as a laundry detergent booster, as both product are effective in getting odour out of fabric. However, don’t use both at the same time. When using white vinegar, you should rinse your clothes once or twice with cold water. You should also wash soiled clothes and sheets as soon as possible, and be sure to store them in an airtight container in the meantime.
Use an air freshener.
Choose a freshener that eliminates odour rather than filing the air with a thick perfume scent. Potpourri or incense are two good options.
Find previously soiled area using a black light.
If you have a persistent odour problem in a particular room, use a black light to illuminate all surfaces in the room. Urine will glow under black light, and can be cleaned once detected.
As a caregiver, wear disposable gloves to protect your hands when changing pads, washing the persons buttocks or between their legs. Also, wash your hands after handling soiled pads and garments, even if you’re wearing gloves.
Dispose of used pads by wrapping it in a plastics bag and placing it in the garbage bin. If reusable continence products are being used, rinse off the bowel motion in the toilet before soaking and washing it.
Consider the easiest way to clean the floor and chairs. Plastic backed towels can be used around the chairs and beds to protect carpet and rugs.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes daily. Exercise stimulates movement of the bowel, and even gentle exercise like walking helps and
Do your pelvic floor muscle exercises regularly. Obesity, pregnancy, childbirth, regular heavy lifting and a chronic cough can weaken the pelvic floor, but you can strengthen these muscles with specific exercises.
Lead a positive lifestyle
Maintain an ideal body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less, excess body fat strains the pelvic floor and can lead to bladder and bowel control problem. Speak to your doctor or qualified dietitian for more information about safe ways to lose weight, and
Stop smoking. Chronic long-term coughing associated with smoking can weaken the muscles of your floor and let to bladder and bowel control problems.
Practice good toilet habits
Go to the toilet when you get the urge to open your bowels, as this is the most effective time to completely empty your bowels. Most people get the urge first thing in the morning or following a meal when eating has stimulated the bowel.
Get into the correct sitting position on the toilet by sitting on the toilet with elbows on your knees, lean forward and support your feet with a footstool. This helps to fully relax your pelvic floor and sphincter muscles. Bulge out your tummy, relax your back passage and let go (don’t hold your breath or strain). When you have finished firmly draw up your back passage.
Avoid constipation as this affects bladder and bowel function. If you often strain to move your bowels, the pelvic floor stretches and weakens over time.
Don’t get into the habits of going to the toilet ‘just in case’, only go when you need to.
Visit your doctors as soon as you suspect a urinary tract infection.
Travel can be one of the joys in life - and sometimes a necessity - but if you are coping with a bladder control problem or soiling, it can be an anxious time. Planning ahead will help prevent further embarrassment and hassles while making your trip so much more enjoyable.
Discuss your travel plans with your GP from 6-8 weeks in advance. Depending on your destination you may need vaccinations or booster shots.
Talk to your doctor about medicines to take away with you. Do you need prescription medicines or products for constipation, vomiting or diarrhoea? Keep your medicines in their original packaging when travelling overseas.
Book early and advise your agent of your needs. Book seats on the aisle, near a toilet or near the front of the bus/ plane (Where you can exit quickly).
Plan each stage of your trip accordingly. If you wear absorbent pads for bladder leakage, allow an extra supply for unexpected delays.
Check about possible extra luggage allowance when booking, if you’re taking a large supply of continence product.
Inform airline staff of your needs so you can board the plane first. You’ll be able to calmly organize and arrange your continence product, clothing and carry-on luggage.
Choose clothes in dark colours (to disguise leakage) that are easy to remove and comfortable to wear (elastic waists, track pants or longer, loose fitting tops).
For women travelling in the tropice, a sarong is handy to hide a leakage accident. It can be placed on a chair. A jacket or cardigan can be tied around the waist to disguise an accident.
Take along a small toilet bag in your carry-on bag, plus a change of clothing, Disposable wipes are handy generally and especially good for faecal incontinence.
Drink plenty of “good fluids” (water is best) as air conditioning is dehydrating. Don’t be tempted to cut down on fluids to reduce urine leakage as it can actually make things worse.
Eat light meals so you won’t feel uncomfortable, bloated or queasy. Your digestion and body clock can be upset when travelling.
Avoid bladder irritants such as coffee, tea, alcohol, chocolate drink, fizzy soft drinks and sports drinks. Spicy or acidic foods are best to avoid too.
Stretch and walk as much as you can to help with circulation and digestion. Seated exercise (like those recommended by airlines) are good.
The person you care for may be deeply distressed and ashamed about their incontinence. Aim to be calm and patient. Talk openly together about the situation.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a healthcare professional.