How can you prevent incontinence?

How can you prevent incontinence?

Here are some tips on how you can prevent urine leakage. There are many types of incontinence and this text is about stress urinary incontinence in women. There are many things you can do yourself to cure or relieve your urine leakage. However, what helps to prevent stress urinary incontinence in the first place is not entirely scientifically proven. The key message is that stress urinary incontinence affects all types of women: fat, thin, marathon runners or couch potatoes. There is no shame in being affected! 

Here is a summary of what affects urine leakage: 


The best preventive measure you can take is not to give birth vaginally. A Swedish study has shown that a vaginal birth almost doubles the risk that you will suffer from stress urinary incontinence, compared to not giving birth. You could almost say that stress incontinence is a type of birth injury. 

Squeeze, squeeze, squeezeeee 

It’s always a good thing to do your pelvic floor exercises. This can be done when you are already suffering from incontinence, but perhaps also as a preventive action. Pelvic floor squeezes strengthen the muscles around the rectum, vagina and urethra. This helps you to stay dry when you exercise. You can use aids, such as kegel balls, and apps that can help with the exercise. 

No small drops

Go pee when you need to as this is the body’s way of telling you that it is time! Don't wait too long as this can strain your bladder muscles. Don't rush and take your time when peeing to empty your bladder completely. This reduces the risk of urinary tract infection, which can lead to incontinence. 


Overweight has several significant medical, social and health economic complications. It is a risk factor for many diseases, such as diabetes, but also increases the incidence of incontinence. Maintaining a normal weight can prevent you from experiencing stress incontinence. So if you are overweight, losing weight can help. Try a healthy diet, as this often leads to weight loss as well.  

Drink, eat and live healthy 

The colour of your urine should ideally be light yellow. Drink enough water so that your urine is not too concentrated. Of course, you should not drink too much water either. Drink when you are thirsty! 

Some people feel that smoking, alcohol, spicy foods, chocolate, sweeteners, coffee, fizzy drinks or food containing high acids, such as lemons and tomatoes can cause bladder irritation which can sometimes lead to urinary incontinence. Smoking also causes coughing which can cause stress incontinence. 

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