Living with incontinence

Lifestyle changes can help your bladder and bowel to work better


What can I do to help?

Simple changes in your lifestyle can have a big impact.

  • Try to prepare for any activity where you may leak by tightening your pelvic floor muscles first.
  • Try not to rush straight to the toilet if you get a sudden urge. Try sitting down, waiting and using the pelvic floor muscles to calm the ‘urgency messages’ from your bladder or bowel down before you walk to the toilet. It is important to establish what is normal for you before you start to change you habit.
  • When you finish using the toilet, try to make sure you have finished emptying your bladder by sitting and waiting a little longer, relaxing your pelvic floor, deep breathing or tipping forwards and backwards on the toilet.
  • Try to drink one and a half litres of fluid per day (approx. six to eight drinks per day)
  • Avoid too much tea, coffee or alcohol as well as other products with caffeine in as they can affect how the bladder works.
  • Avoid constipation - straining to empty the bowel will weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
    • Try using a step or stool under your feet to put yourself into a better position to empty your bowels.
    • Eating three meals per day and including some fruit, vegetables and fibre into your diet may help to avoid constipation.
    • It is also important to stay hydrated.


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