Story by: Sarah M. Kane, M.D., urogynecologist with Norton Urogynecology Center on November 13, 2019
Living with a leaky bladder or plagued by recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs)? You’re not alone. These are two of the most common bladder health issues that affect women. In fact, up to 60 percent of women will seek care for urinary incontinence, especially as they age. And 27 percent of women have more than two UTIs each year.
Whether it’s leakage or pain, such as interstitial cystitis, bladder issues take a toll on quality of life. When your bladder isn’t working the way it should, it’s difficult to enjoy life.
Often, lifestyle changes and at-home exercises can significantly improve bladder health. Try these:
1. Avoid foods and beverages that can irritate the bladder. Acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemons, peppers and beverages with alcohol, sweeteners or caffeine can worsen overactive bladder, pain and incontinence.
2. If you smoke, quit. Cigarette smoking is linked to overactive bladder.
3. Shed some pounds. If you are overweight, losing 10 pounds can make a difference in bladder symptoms.
3. Try Kegel pelvic floor exercises. Once you find this muscle and how to squeeze it, you can do Kegels in three sets of 10, three times per day.
4 Drink until you are not thirsty. There is no set amount of fluid you need in a day, but you should aim for 64 ounces.
Incontinence, bladder pain, recurrent UTIs or bladder infections, interstitial cystitis, and bladder prolapse or cystocele are some of the conditions often seen by the specialists with Norton Urogynecology Center.
Physicians assess each patient to look for causes of these conditions and work together to find treatments to relieve symptoms. Often, lifestyle modifications and at-home exercises can significantly improve bladder health.
For more information about comprehensive care, including identifying pelvic and bladder symptoms and female urinary incontinence treatment options, call (502) 629-1234.
Learn the right way to Kegel and other bladder health facts. Or, take an online incontinence risk assessment to learn more.
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