How To Prevent Bladder Leaks

Goals

To provide a list of tips on how to prevent bladder leaks while exercising.

Early Findings

The following tips are useful in preventing bladder leaks during exercise
  • Before working out, it is advisable to empty the bladder to avoid extra strain on the bladder during a workout.
  • Women who have had a Pelvic Organ Prolapse often have Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). They can use a pessary during exercise as it effectively supports the urethra and, in turn, helps in reducing the pressure in the bladder. A tampon can also be used. Pessary and tampon are temporary inserts and should be removed after working out.
  • It is essential to stay hydrated during exercise. When one is dehydrated, the urine becomes highly concentrated, which irritate the bladder and cause leakage.
  • Limiting the intake of drinks with caffeine before a workout is very crucial. Caffeine increases the production of urine and irritates the bladder making it susceptible to leakage.
  • Limiting the intake of acidic and spicy foods as they are common bladder irritants.
  • Training the bladder by having a scheduled "bathroom visits in intervals and slowly work up to longer periods."
  • Choosing the right workout program. Individuals with weak pelvic floors are advised to avoid high-impact exercises like jumping, running, and skipping. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, such exercises "cause a much greater downward force on the bladder than the closure force of the urinary sphincter, risking leakage and further damage to the pelvic floor." Workout activities like cycling, swimming, and yoga are therefore recommended as they help in lifting the chest, lengthening the spin, and reducing pressure on the bladder.
  • Wearing black pants made from thick cotton materials during workouts are helpful in covering up embarrassing leaks.

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