WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Urinary incontinence (UI) is when you leak urine.
- Medicines can help strengthen your bladder control.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises:
Pelvic floor muscle exercises help strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve your bladder control. Tighten and relax your pelvic muscles as often as directed.
Maintain a healthy weight:
Ask your PHP how much you should weigh and about the best exercise plan for you. Weight loss and exercise will decrease pressure on your bladder and help you control your leakage. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
Keep a UI record:
Write down how often you leak urine and how much you leak. Make a note of what you were doing when you leaked urine.
Drink liquids as directed:
Ask your PHP how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to limit the amount of liquid you drink to help control your urine leakage. Limit or avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Do not drink any liquid right before you go to bed.
Eat a variety of high-fiber foods. Good examples are high-fiber cereals, beans, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Prune juice may help make your bowel movement softer. Walking is the best way to trigger your intestines to have a bowel movement.
Do not smoke:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask your PHP for information if you need help quitting.
Follow up with your PHP or urologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your PHP or urologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You see blood in your urine.
- You have pain when you urinate.
- You have new or worse pain, even after treatment.
- Your urine is cloudy or smells bad.
- Your mouth feels dry or you have vision changes.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe pain.
- You are confused or cannot think clearly.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.