Prevention of Incontinence


Incontinence is probably one of the most embarrassing conditions. It is not always possible to prevent urine and faecal leakage because they are sometimes caused by conditions and problems on which you have no influence. However, measures which help prevent the most common causes of urine and faecal leakage will help you reduce the risk of developing both types of incontinence.

The following measures may help you avoid urinary incontinence:

Avoid foods and beverages which irritate urinary bladder or increase the rate of urination. Among the greatest contributors to urine leakage are alcohol, caffeine, and spicy and acidic foods. You do not have to give up the mentioned foods and beverages completely, however, it is a good idea to limit their consumption.

Be adequately physically active. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of urine leakage.

Maintain a healthy body weight or lose excess pounds. Excess body fat puts an increased pressure on your urinary bladder making it more likely to leak urine. Furthermore, overweight increases the risk of a number of diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even some types of cancer. You can only benefit from achieving or/and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Do Kegel exercises. These simple pelvic exercises help prevent urinary incontinence related to pregnancy as well as the ageing process by keeping your pelvic muscles strong.

Treat constipation. If left untreated, constipation can lead to stool impaction or development of a dry, hard mass in your rectum. This mass can put an increased pressure on your bladder leading to increased urinary urge or interfere with the emptying of your urinary bladder which in turn can lead to urine leakage. Eat lots of foods high in fibre content and drink plenty of liquids to make your stools softer and easier to pass. Also, be adequately physically active to “speed up“ bowel movements.


To reduce the risk of faecal incontinence, follow these preventive measures:

Treat constipation. This common condition does not only increase the risk of urinary incontinence but of faecal incontinence as well. A potential stool impaction can weaken the muscles in your rectal area and lead to faecal leakage as a result of increased pressure of the softer stools to move around the impacted stool. If you eat a diet high in fibres, drink plenty of water and are adequately physically active, you should be able to both treat and prevent constipation. But if lifestyle changes do not alleviate constipation, visit your doctor. Treatment of constipation will also help you prevent haemorrhoids which are a common cause of faecal leakage as well.

Do not strain when having a bowel movement. Straining can lead to weakening of the muscles which control bowel movements and subsequently allow passage of small amount of faeces.

Treat diarrhoea. It usually improves on its own within a couple of days without any special treatment other than avoiding certain foods and drinking of plenty liquids. But if it does not go away within three days, you should seek medical attention.