Incontinence – Tired of Leaking? 3 Tips to Help

Urinary incontinence or leaking pee is one of the most common things Pelvic Physiotherapists see.   It is so important to note that while leaking urine is quite common, it is most definitely not normal and it can be fixed with therapy.  In today’s post I’m going to share a little bit about the different types of incontinence and a few strategies to keep in mind if you struggle with leaking! 

There are generally three different types of leaking; urge incontinence, stress incontinence and mixed incontinence.   Urge incontinence occurs when you have the strong urge to go to the bathroom and leak as a result.  This can occur then your bladder feels full or when you feel the sudden strong and uncontrollable urge to go pee.  Sometimes this urge can be triggered by something in your environment, for example putting your key in your door, pulling into your driveway or hearing the sound of water. 

Female bending over and holding onto pants in uncomfortable position

Stress incontinence is leaking urine that occurs when there is a force such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, jumping, walking, exercising or lifting.  In my experience treating clients, this seems to be the most common thing that I see in women of any age.  It is also important to note that even a dribble or drop of urine with any of these activities is not normal.

Mixed incontinence actually happens when you have both urge and stress incontinence! Again, even if you only have a few drops of leaking, it is still worth getting an assessment or trying to manage your symptoms. 

If you experience any of these types of leaking, here are some strategies to think about to manage your symptoms. 

  1. Bladder irritants; some things that we eat or drink can actually irritate the lining of the bladder, almost like an itch and make you need to pee.  Some things that can cause this are; coffee and tea (yes even decaf), alcohol, carbonated drinks (even sparkling water), and foods with high acidity like vinegar, tomato sauce. 
  2. Just in case pee’s; I’m going to touch on this again in another blog in more detail, but try to be mindful about when you are going to the bathroom and whether or not you actually have to pee or are going for convenience.  Try to avoid going pee if you don’t feel the urge to go, and are simply going so you won’t have to go later. 
  3. Stay hydrated; I know this might seem counterintuitive especially when you are worried about going to the bathroom too much or if you experience leaking, but the better hydrated you are the less often you will have to go.  I am going to talk about this more in the “How Your Bladder Works” blog click here to read that blog

Too long, Don’t Read: There are three types of incontinence; stress incontinence (coughing, laughing or sneezing), urge incontinence (sudden strong urge to pee), mixed incontinence (both stress and urge incontinence).  Three strategies to manage symptoms are; managing bladder irritants, avoiding going pee just in case and staying adequately hydrated.

Disclaimer: This information is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you feel like you need more information I would strongly recommend you reach out to a physician or local pelvic floor physiotherapist.