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Incontinence is no laughing matter – but very common

June 18, 2018

Urinary incontinence – the loss of bladder control – is a common and often embarrassing problem. The severity ranges from occasional leaking urine when you cough or sneeze to having an urge to urinate that’s so sudden and strong you don’t get to a toilet in time. Many women suffer from urinary incontinence but we don’t know exactly how many because many do not tell anyone about their symptoms. They may feel uncomfortable discussing it, or they may think nothing can be done.

“Urinary incontinence is not just a medical problem. It can affect emotional, psychological and social life and symptoms can often keep people from enjoying life,” says urogynecologist Laurie Kane, M.D. “For most people, simple lifestyle changes or medical treatment can ease discomfort or stop urinary incontinence.”

Simple lifestyle changes that can be enough to control incontinence include:

Cut back on caffeine drinks such as coffee and tea, carbonated drinks like soda, and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages.

Avoid foods such as citrus juice and fruits, highly spiced foods, and tomato-based products.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Try simple pelvic-floor exercises such as Kegel exercises.

Go to the bathroom on a schedule to help train your bladder to hold urine, and wear clothes that you can remove easily.

If incontinence is frequent and affecting the quality of your life, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice. Talk with your primary care doctor or make an appointment directly with a urogynecologist who will help determine what is behind your incontinence and recommend the right treatment option.

To learn more or to make an appointment with urogynecologist and pelvic reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Laurie Kane at Southern Ocean Medical Center, call 609-978-3911 or visit www.SouthernOceanMedicalCenter.com/pelvicfloor.

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