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Reducing Your Risk of Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is often a symptom of other health problems. As such, it can't always be prevented. But, you can take steps to lower your risk of urinary problems by:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids each day. Urine should be a pale yellow if you're getting enough fluids.
  • Going to the bathroom at set times. Try to do this whether you need to go to the bathroom or not.
  • Not putting off trips to the bathroom. Go when you feel the urge.
  • Doing Kegel exercises to make the pelvic floor muscles stronger. Women can also do these during pregnancy and after giving birth.
  • Getting treated for health problems that contribute to incontinence.
  • Lifestyle changes such as:
    • Losing excess weight or keeping it in a healthy range. This lowers pressure on the bladder.
    • Quitting smoking. Smoking causes coughing, which puts more pressure on the bladder. Quitting will also lower the risk of bladder cancer.
    • Taking steps to prevent constipation. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercising will also help.
REFERENCES:

Fecal and urinary incontinence in adults: clinical effectiveness to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. National Library of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK38515. Accessed January 22, 2019.

Prevention of bladder control problems (urinary incontinence) & bladder health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems/prevention. Updated June 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019.

Urinary incontinence in women. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900573/Urinary-incontinence-in-women. Accessed November 14, 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019.

3/5/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance.http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900573/Urinary-incontinence-in-women: Boyle R, Hay-Smith EJ, Cody JD, Mørkved S. Pelvic floor muscle training for prevention and treatment of urinary and fecal incontinence in antenatal and postnatal women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(10):CD007471.

Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 1/22/2019