Exercises for Urinary Incontinence in Women

· September 20, 2014

Urinary incontinence, or involuntary urine losses in women, is a health problem that affects 30% of adult women and that causes a lot of worry and discomfort for those that suffer from it. It is important to know that in the majority of cases, this problem depends on a problem with the musculature in the pelvic region.  We can work this area so that it becomes more toned and functions correctly.

Here, we will explain which exercises to do daily, and thereby prevent and improve urinary incontinence in a most natural way.

There are also a few factors that contribute to suffering from urinary incontinence, and which should be treated naturally:

  • Consuming substances that are irritating to the bladder, like caffeine or alcohol.
  • Constipation: constipation makes us force all of the pelvic musculature daily, which is why improving intestinal function is a priority.
  • Obesity: excess weight contributes to the worsening of a lot of health problems, among them, is incontinence.
  • Aggressive sports: practicing sports is very healthy and recommendable, but preferably with exercises that are low-impact for our bodies.  We should opt to walk or swim, for example, and avoid running or doing aerobics or exercises, and dancing that includes jumping and brisk movements.
  • Menopause: hormonal changes provoke a loss of musculature flexibility.
  • Diuretic medications: diuretic medications irritate the bladder and worsen urine leakage.
  • Drinking liquids from the afternoon on: drinking liquids is important, but try to do it principally in the morning.
  • Pregnancy or vaginal birth: the weight of the fetus in the mother’s womb, and birthing a child vaginally temporarily weakens the musculature.  If you exercise correctly and don’t do brisk exercises during the postpartum phase, you can correctly recover muscular function.
  • Stress: stress is a big evil in our times.  It worsens any health problem that we may have, because it prevents us from taking control of our bodies.  When we are suffering from moments of stress, it is important to become conscious of what we do, also in the musculature of our pelvic area, to relax it if we notice tension there.

The muscles in the pelvic area reach from the pubic bone to the sacrum, and are a support for the genital organs, the bladder, and the rectum.  As with all musculature, with the passage of time, tensions, and the previous factors, these muscles grow weak and need exercise to stay flexible and toned.

What do these exercises consist of?

The first step is to learn to control muscle contraction in the genital area, imitating the movement made during a bowel movement.  You can make this contraction by feeling the details of how the muscles work, and without tensing other areas of the body, like the abdomen, the buttocks, etc.  During this contraction, breath deeply, without holding your breath.  This is the base of these exercises.

Note: One of the times that we go to the bathroom to pee, stop the urine flow and then once again relax your musculature, then continue urinating.  Only do this once, to test which musculature is working, but do not repeat afterwards, as this could be harmful.

How do you do it?

  • Slowly contract the muscles until reaching the maximum that you can squeeze.  Hold at that point for 5 seconds, and then relax.
  • Repeat this 10 times in a row.  Do this exercise throughout the day, preferably 3 times a day.
  • Once you have more practice, you can do it quicker, continually contracting and relaxing.
  • After a few days, progressively increase to 20 contractions.

Where do you do them?

Repeat this exercise continuously; you can take advantage of several moments to practice it.  It is also good to associate these exercises with some of our daily activities, while we’re waiting, watching TV, etc.

You can practice these exercises in any posture: standing, laying down, sitting down, kneeling, etc.

If you do these exercises daily, you will notice improvement within a month and a half.

Photos courtesy of relaxingmusic and ilyoungko.