10 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make That May Improve Light Bladder Leakage
Whilst it can certainly be embarrassing, light bladder leakage is a common issue effecting women of all ages. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 3 women experience LBL at some stage. So whilst you may feel as though you are alone in experiencing these symptoms, you certainly aren’t, and with the right products it needn’t become a source of anxiety for you. Products such as panty liners offer discreet protection from LBL, whilst so called ‘period underwear’ can offer a more attractive, comfortable and environmentally-friendly solution that will give you the confidence to go about your day without the fear of having any accidents.
If you experience light bladder leakage we recommend visiting your GP, as it is entirely treatable. In addition to this, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make that may reduce your symptoms, or even clear them up entirely.
Exercise Your Pelvic Floor Daily
Kegel exercises are one of the best natural ways to combat light bladder leakage, and the best part Is you don’t need any special equipment. You can do them anytime, anywhere, and nobody will even know.
To do them squeeze the muscles of your pelvic floor as you would if you were holding onto your wee. Pull in and squeeze the muscles tight for 10 seconds, and then rest for 10 seconds. Aim to do around 3-4 sets of 10 contractions every day.
It does take time and daily work to strengthen your pelvic floor, so be prepared for the fact that you may need to practice this for up to 3 months before you see any benefits.
Practice Low Impact Exercises That Help to Strengthen Your Core
Staying fit and healthy through regular exercise is great for our mental and physical wellbeing, but there are some high impact exercises that can put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles and increase the chance of leakage. Instead opt for exercises that strengthen your core muscles gently such as Pilates or Yoga.
Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects
We know when you are a busy parent not lifting children or shopping bags just isn’t an option, although you should avoid lifting heavy objects as much as possibly as it puts strain on your pelvic floor muscles. If you must lift something though, we recommend tightening your pelvic floor muscles before and during the lift.
Cut Down on Caffeine
Many of us mums swear by regular cups of coffee to get us through the day, but the truth is that caffeine can irritate the bladder and make incontinence worse. And it may not be just your coffee consumption that you need to keep in check. Soft drinks, tea and cocoa all contain caffeine too, albeit in smaller amounts. Instead replace caffeinated drinks a good old glass of water or a herbal or fruit tea.
Cut Down on Alcohol
We know how good that glass or two of vino is at the end of stressful day, but alcohol is a diuretic – meaning it makes you want to urinate more frequently. Cutting back on alcohol may improve your symptoms.
Drink Plenty of Water
It sounds totally counter-intuitive, we know, but drink plenty of water (unless you have a specific medical condition that requires you not to). Many people who suffer from light bladder leakage try to limit their water intake as a way of controlling and minimising leakage, but in fact what happens is the bladder’s capacity is reduced over time, acerbating symptoms.
Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods
Strange but true! Spicy and acidic foods such as curries and citrus fruits can make symptoms worse by irritating the bladder, so are best avoided.
Did you know that coughing associated with smoking puts a strain on your pelvic floor muscles and puts you at risk of developing incontinence, and can make existing symptoms worse.
Excessive body weight can also weaken your pelvic floor and cause incontinence due to the pressure of fatty tissues on the bladder. Losing weight can improve symptoms or clear them up entirely.
Take Steps to Deal with Constipation
Constipation can make your light bladder leakage worse because straining to empty your bowels also weakens your pelvic floor muscles. To avoid constipation it may help to change your diet to include more fibre.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.