Rushing to the toilet when your bladder is threatening to spill is bad enough. But what happens when your bladder just can’t hold on any longer? If you’ve experienced this urge and the resulting spillage then you’re not alone! 1 in 10 people are affected by overactive bladder and urge incontinence.
Kegel8’s Top Tips to Stop Wetting Yourself
But when you feel the urge, how do you stop it? Or how can you make the urges less frequent? Don’t worry, there are a variety of practical methods of prevention available to help fight back against urge incontinence. Here are Kegel8’s top tips to stop urge incontinence:
- Kegel! – Pelvis floor exercises are essential, and the first-line treatment for tackling incontinence. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles can strengthen the pelvic floor, reducing your risk of incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and more! Learn more about pelvic floor exercises here.
- Tiptoe – When you have the urge to go, try standing on your toes to reduce pressure on the muscles.
- Distract yourself – Try to focus your attention on something other than your bladder. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it could help to reduce the urgency.
- Clench – Crossing your legs or clenching your fists can help to delay your bladder.
- Toughen up – Apply pressure to the pelvic floor by sitting on something hard, such as the corner of a table.
What is Urge Incontinence?
Urge incontinence is the loss of urine associated with the sudden and strong impulse to urinate that cannot be delayed. For people who have normal bladder function, the bladder muscles (detrusor) remain relaxed as the bladder slowly fills up. As the bladder gradually grows and stretches, we get a feeling of wanting to pass urine when the bladder is around half full. Most people are able to hold on after they get this feeling until they find a convenient time to go to the toilet.
However, if you are suffering from urge incontinence, the bladder may feel fuller than it is. As a result of this, the bladder contracts early when it’s not very full. This can make you suddenly need the toilet and perhaps even leak urine before you get there.
If you suffer from urge incontinence, you may also find that you also have the need to frequently pass urine during the night, and wake to do so – this is a condition called nocturia.
What Causes Urge Incontinence?
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the development of urge incontinence. Some of these include:
- Overactive Bladder – Having an overactive bladder causes a sudden urge to urinate. This impulse can be difficult to prevent, and it often leads to involuntary urge incontinence.
- Constipation – If you suffer from constipation, you often force stress upon your pelvic floor muscles when straining to go to the toilet. This stress can weaken the pelvic floor as a result, meaning you can lose control over your bladder and bowel.
- Excess weight – The more overweight you are, the more stress you place on your pelvic floor muscles. This continual, heavy load can weaken the muscles and you are more likely to suffer from incontinence as a result.
- Caffeine and Alcohol – These types of drinks are bladder irritants and can make overactive bladder symptoms even worse!
You can learn more about Kegel exercise techniques in the video below.
 Bladder & Bowel Community (2018) Urgency and Urge Incontinence [online]. Bladder and Bowel Support Company [viewed 01/11/2018]. Available from https://www.bladderandbowel.org/bladder/bladder-conditions-and-symptoms/urgency-and-urge-incontinence/
 Continence Foundation of Australia (2018) Urge Incontinence [online]. Continence Foundation of Australia [viewed 01/11/2018]. Available from https://www.continence.org.au/pages/urge-incontinence.html
 Eapen, R.S., Radomski, S.B. (2016) Review of the Epidemiology of Overactive Bladder. Research and Reports in Urology. 8, pp. 71-76. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4902138/
 Subak, L.L., Johnson, C., Whitcomb, E., Boban, D., Saxton, J., Brown, J.S. (2002) Does Weight Loss Improve Incontinence in Moderately Obese Women? International Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. 13(1), pp. 40-43.
 UCSF Health (2018) Urge Incontinence in Women [online]. University of California San Francisco [viewed 01/11/2018]. Available from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/urge_incontinence_in_women/
 Guy’s and St Thomas’ (2017) Bladder retraining – treatment for urgency and urge incontinence [online]. NHS Foundation Trust [viewed 01/11/2018]. Available from https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/gynaecology/bladder-retraining.pdf