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How to Cope with an ‘Overactive’ Bladder

While the term ‘overactive’ may be used to avoid the awkwardness surrounding incontinence, the reality is up to 25% of women and 5% of men under 65 – more among the elderly – experience a type of urinary incontinence at some point. Follow these tips to help stay dry.

How to Cope with an ‘Overactive’ Bladder

1. Do Kegel Exercises Every Day

These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which help control the release of urine. Kegels can often be more effective than medication at improving some types of incontinence – particularly effective in men who have undergone surgery for prostate issues.

These exercises can be done anytime and anywhere as no-one knows you’re doing them. First, figure out which muscles to target by stopping in midstream when you’re urinating. The muscles you use to do this are your pelvic floor muscles. To perform Kegels, squeeze those muscles and hold for a count of ten. Relax, then repeat. Perform at least three sets of ten contractions a day.

2. Eat Small Portions

Studies find that losing weight is one of the most effective ways, next to pelvic floor exercises, to prevent incontinence.

3. Train Your Bladder

Doctors think one cause of incontinence is that some people tend to urinate too often. This can reduce the amount your bladder is able to hold and teaches your bladder muscles to send ‘must go’ signals even when the bladder isn’t full. Bladder training, a programme of gradually increasing the time between each visit to the toilet, helps you strengthen bladder muscles and increase the amount of urine you can comfortably hold.

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