The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

What is in­con­ti­nence?

There are dif­fer­ent types of uri­nary in­con­ti­nence. A per­son can have more than one type. They in­clude:

Stress in­con­ti­nence: the most com­mon in women. Leak­age hap­pens when you cough, laugh, sneeze or ex­er­cise.

Urge in­con­ti­nence: a sud­den need to go to the toi­let, so strong that you may not make it in time.

Fre­quency: a need to empty the blad­der of­ten.

What causes it?

Preg­nancy and child­birth. Loss of oe­stro­gen af­ter menopause. Heavy lift­ing. Chronic con­sti­pa­tion (has long-term se­ri­ous con­se­quences). Be­ing over­weight. Chronic cough.

What steps can you take to ad­dress it?

Drink up to two litres of fluid a day to main­tain blad­der ca­pac­ity.

Re­duce cof­fee and other caf­feinated drinks, as they in­crease urine pro­duc­tion.

Do pelvic floor ex­er­cises, par­tic­u­larly be­fore and af­ter child­birth and be­fore heavy lift­ing, sneez­ing or cough­ing.

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