First steps for managing stress incontinence

First steps for managing stress incontinence

If you have stress incontinence, your treatment should begin with the lifestyle changes and exercises to train and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that support your bladder and urethra. The organisations listed in Sources of advice and support have more information about these exercises.

  • Before you start pelvic floor muscle exercises, your healthcare professional should assess how well you can contract (tighten) the muscles.

  • The exercises should involve at least 8 contractions of the muscles and should be done at least 3 times a day.

  • You should do the exercises for at least 3 months to start with, and continue them if they help.

  • If you are not able to contract your pelvic floor muscles, your healthcare professional may recommend using a device to stimulate the electrical signals in the muscles. The device should not be used in combination with pelvic floor muscle exercises.

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