Don’t let the word “light” fool you. Light bladder leakage (LBL) is a problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It can cause embarrassment as well as harm your relationships with others if you let it get the best of you. However, you don’t have to let it win. There are ways to combat it that don’t require invasive surgery.
Foods and Beverages to Avoid
Some foods and beverages make symptoms worse. You should avoid caffeine, saccharine, spicy foods and other older artificial sweeteners. Alcohol, citrus drinks, or too much water or milk will cause symptoms of LBL to worsen. Get the recommended amount of water–which is eight glasses per day for most individuals–and stop beverages.
Regulate Your Weight
Being overweight has an impact on bladder leakage. This is because the extra weight puts pressure on the bladder. You’ll notice a huge difference in your condition once you lose weight, even if it’s only 10 lbs.
Stress can lead to an increase in LBL incidents. Try exercising or finding other ways to reduce your stress. In some cases, the bladder leakage may be directly related to stress.
Smoking increases a woman’s chances of developing LBL. That’s why a woman should reduce–or better yet eliminate–nicotine altogether. Smoking irritates the bladder. Not to mention, smokers cough more, which leads to more chances to leak.
Exercise Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Starting with the first time you leak, you should begin to do kegels on a regular basis. You may only be able to do a few at first, but ultimately, you should strive to do 10 while holding for 10 seconds four times per day. It seems like a lot, but you can do them while you work, cook or etc.
Generally, a physician isn’t going to recommend surgery for light leakage, so he or she will prescribe nonsurgical remedies. For instance, electrical stimulation consists of electrodes being placed in the vagina or rectum for a short period of time in order to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Medications may help to tighten the muscles in the urethra and bladder. A pessary is an option as well. It consists of a device being inserted into the vagina, which repositions the urethra to prevent leakage. A bulking agent may be used. This implant is a fat or collagen-based injection given around the urethra that helps close it.
There are numerous ways to reduce or eliminate leakage problems. Most of them aren’t uncomfortable and don’t take much time. Keep in mind, when caught early enough, a majority of light bladder leakage is treatable.
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