Stress urinary incontinence is an accidental release of urine, a common condition among women, during pregnancy and after childbirth. So, new mothers are quite prone to stress urinary incontinence.
There are various surgical methods to treat or control incontinence, such as urethral bulking agents, sling procedures, and tape procedures. However, surgery is generally recommended only when non-surgical treatments haven’t produced the intended result.
How to Treat Stress Incontinence?
Postpartum incontinence treatment can be easily commenced by integrating some simple habits into your lifestyle. Some remedies for stress incontinence that do not require you to go under the knife are:
Lifestyle Changes - Changing one’s lifestyle for the better is the first step in the fight against stress urinary incontinence. To begin with, it’s important to quit smoking or drinking alcohol as well as avoid artificially sweetened/ carbonated drinks. Smoking often causes coughing, which results in urine leakage. Besides, the nicotine present in cigarettes can irritate one’s bladder muscles, which is also the case with alcohol and fizzy drinks.
Healthy Diet - Avoid spicy and acidic foods like orange, lemon, and grapefruit, as they can irritate the bladder and cause urinary urgency. Instead, eat more high-fibre foods like vegetables, salads, veg soups, fruits like apples, berries and avocado, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Adding more fibre to the diet will lead to weight loss and reduce constipation. People often strain to pass hardened stools, and this can make urine leakage even worse.
Weight Reduction – Reducing weight can help in your treatment of stress incontinence. Being overweight increases the pressure on the pelvic muscles and causes urinary incontinence. Therefore, losing weight is another way to overcome stress urinary incontinence. In many cases, losing excess weight might even solve the issue completely to a large extent.
Physical Therapy - Mothers with stress urinary continence can also avail of pelvic floor muscle training provided by expert physiotherapists. These therapists teach people with urinary incontinence how to contract and relax the pelvic muscles and improve their functioning. The duration of the training might vary from person to person. Typically, a muscle training program consists of at least eight muscle contractions performed three times a day for a period of up to three months.
Electrical Stimulation - There are many devices available (in the market) that mothers can use to electrically stimulate the pelvic floor muscles as well as relax and tighten them. This treatment can go hand-in-hand with physical therapy, and together, they show good results in controlling stress urinary incontinence.
Stress urinary incontinence treatments that are non-surgical, as discussed above, may not hold in the urine one hundred per cent of the time. There could still be some involuntary leakage, so mothers would need to keep “Insert Pads” handy. These stress incontinence pads are similar to sanitary napkins; however, they are highly absorbent, soft, and light. In addition, they do not slip since they have adhesive tabs.
Mothers usually brush off the immensity of stress urinary incontinence and regard it as just another “normal part of their lives”. However, they should understand that it is a real health condition that they should not ignore.
So, consider this Mother’s Day as a wake-up call for every mom. And as a caring daughter, speak to your mother about Stress Urinary Incontinence and tell her #ItsNotOKMom; it is SOSi.