Urinary incontinence is not always preventable. However, you may be able to decrease your risk of incontinence with these steps:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, reaching a healthy weight may help.
  • Don't smoke. Get help with quitting if you do smoke.
  • Practice Kegel exercises. Doctors often advise pregnant women to do Kegel exercises during pregnancy as a preventive measure.
  • Avoid bladder irritants. Avoiding or limiting certain foods and drinks may help prevent or limit urinary incontinence. For example, if you know that drinking more than two cups of coffee makes you have to urinate uncontrollably, cutting back to one cup of coffee or forgoing caffeine-containing drinks may be all that you need to do.
  • Eat more fiber. Including more fiber in your diet or taking fiber supplements can help prevent constipation, a risk factor for urinary incontinence.
  • Exercise. Physical activity reduces your risk of developing incontinence.
Jun. 25, 2011