icontinencia mitos y verdades

Urinary Incontinence: True or false?

Urinary incontinence is full of myths. Many of you will surely have heard on multiple occasions that Kegel exercises and/or Chinese balls are best for combatting urinary incontinence, that going to the bathroom more often will help with urine leaks, or that stopping your flow mid-pee will help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles… But what is true in all of this?

In today’s post we will break down some of the myths about urinary incontinence. 

  • UI only affects older men or women. FALSE.

Although it is true that the incidence is higher in women than in men, UI affects millions of people around the world, from children to elderly people.
Hormonal changes, pregnancies and giving birth are very significant risk factors for women; but let’s not forget that there are other causes of UI such as neurological disorders, being overweight, pelvic surgery (prostatectomies, hysterectomies, etc.), cognitive impairment or chronic constipation which mean that people can suffer from UI at any stage of their life. 

  • Kegel exercises and/or Chinese balls are always a solution. FALSE.

Kegel exercises and Chinese balls or pelvic spheres are very helpful in strengthening and activating our pelvic floor, but it wouldn’t be right to say these are always the solution or the only solution. As there are different types of UI and not all are linked to a weakness of our perineal muscles, it is very important that we see a urologist or a physiotherapist who specializes in the pelvic floor who will help us diagnose the cause of our leaks and draw up a personalized treatment plan. 

  • The most effective treatment is surgery. FALSE.

Not all forms of UI can be corrected with surgery and not all kinds of UI are resolved with rehabilitation; the key to success lies in making an accurate diagnosis with a multidisciplinary approach which combines the use of various medical and/or rehabilitative techniques, as well as surgical methods for more severe cases.   

  • Train your sphincters by stopping your flow mid-pee. FALSE.

For some time, people with UI were recommended to stop the flow when urinating in order to learn how to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. However, today we know that this practice is definitely not advised because it may give rise to urine infections and voiding dysfunctions, altering the physiological course of urination.

  • Don’t hold it in for too long and go to the toilet more often.

Many people justify their urine leaks by saying that they hold their pee for too long; and although it’s true that resisting the need to go to the toilet for long periods is not advised at all, going too often is not recommended either. 

During the filling phase, the bladder sends physiological signals to our brain to tell us when we have to go to the bathroom, so getting in the way of these desires to go to the toilet results in the filling capacity of the bladder gradually being reduced and the detrusor (bladder muscle) getting weaker when the bladder is emptied. We must also stress that even though we initially see a reduction in leaks, this is not a solution for UI. 

  • Reducing your fluid intake will help prevent UI.

If we significantly cut down on our fluid intake, we may cause the opposite effect, meaning we have to urinate more often. When we don’t drink enough, urine is more concentrated and this encourages bacteria to grow inside the vagina, therefore causing it to become irritated and meaning that we have to go to the bathroom more often. 

  • Cut down on physical activity to stop urine leaks. FALSE.

Although some impact sports put our pelvic floor at a certain degree of risk, people who do regular physical exercise tend to have better muscle tone (including the abdomen and pelvic floor), and a healthier lifestyle. 

  • Physiotherapy is very useful in preventing and treating UI. TRUE.

Pelvic floor physiotherapy boasts numerous tools which may help us improve our quality of life, not only with regard to treating urinary incontinence, but other very common conditions too, such as pelvic pain, prolapses, bowel incontinence, etc. 

  • A healthy lifestyle can prevent UI. TRUE. 

Although it sounds like a cliché, adopting healthy habits will help us minimize the risk of suffering from UI (as well as many other conditions). Doing regular physical exercise, eating a balanced diet, being a non-smoker and avoiding alcohol will help us reduce risk factors such as obesity, chronic constipation, inactive ways of life, etc. 

  • Removing the social stigma attached to UI will help minimize the incidence. TRUE.

Did you know that over 50% of people with UI don’t go to the doctor to report their case? If from a young age, we put more emphasis on looking after our pelvic floor and going to see a professional any time we have a mild symptom, we would certainly see a decrease in the number of IU cases. 

 

Compartir:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Posts relacionados

no puedo sacar mi copa menstrual

What should I do if I can’t take my menstrual cup out?

If I can’t take my menstrual cup out, will it get lost inside? No, nothing bad will happen if you can’t take your cup out of the vaginal canal straight away. It’s most likely that you are nervous. The first thing you should know is that it can only go as far as the cervix

consejos de uso de enna cycle

Tips for using your menstrual cup properly

Today we are going to give you some tips for using your menstrual cup because as we have said before, using the menstrual period cup can seem quite difficult and requires some practice. We are often sent queries from ladies who believe that, after trying the cup and experiencing leaks, the size is not right

fases ciclo menstrual

What are the phases of the menstrual cycle?

There are 2 phases in the menstrual cycle: the follicular phase and luteal phase. Menstruation and ovulation are part of these processes, even though they are sometimes considered as separate phases. The time frame for each of these is different and what a woman’s body is doing here is preparing itself for pregnancy. If a

Endometriosis

Endometriosis, the silenced disease

Despite the fact that endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women, there is still not a lot known about it. This disease is often covered up by the belief that periods are painful, meaning that girls who suffer from endometriosis are frequently accused of being weak, and told that what they are feeling is normal and

Urinary incontinence: types and causes

Urinary incontinence is defined as the loss of control over the bladder and its ability to urinate. Women are most affected by stress incontinence based on the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, resulting in losses of urine caused by our muscles straining when we cough, laugh, sneeze, etc. As these are things we do