Bladder leaks can be embarrassing as they can strike at any time. There are numerous reasons for bladder leaks. Knowing what’s causing them in your case can help you better address the issue.
Here are four common causes of bladder leaks and what you can do about each of them to reduce your risk of yet another embarrassing moment.
4 causes and fixes for bladder leaks
Weak pelvic muscles: To hold in urine, your urethra closes tightly to ensure nothing leaks out. In individuals with stress incontinence, any pressure added to the bladder causes a leak, because the pelvic muscles are too weak to close it properly. This can be a result of childbirth or even genetically predetermined.
Thankfully, you can perform exercises known as Kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Simply contract your pelvic muscles as if you are holding in urine. Hold for a few seconds, release, and repeat. The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done anytime and anywhere, and no one will know.
Low bladder capacity: Urge incontinence means you have a strong urge to urinate even when your bladder is not completely full. The good news is, Kegels can help improve urge incontinence, too. Also, you should go to the bathroom only when you really need to go. Trying to hold it as long as you can may help as well.
Body weight: Being overweight can contribute to a leaky bladder. A study found that for every five-unit increase on the body mass index chart (BMI), your risk of incontinence rises by 20 to 70 percent! Carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on the bladder and causes excessive stretching, which can also weaken pelvic floor muscles.
The fix here is maintaining a healthy weight. In another study, women who successfully lost weight decreased their weekly incontinence occurences by 65 percent.
Diet: When it comes to bladder leaks, think of the four C’s as potential culprits: citrus, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and chocolate. These are well-known bladder irritants that can trigger bladder leaks. Making the appropriate diet swaps and eliminating some of these triggers may help you gain more control over your bladder and this way reduce the likelihood of bladder leaks.
No matter what is causing your bladder leaks, addressing the issue and following through your treatment plan can help you make those embarrassing bladder leaks a thing of the past.