Kegel exercises, bladder training and weight loss are effective treatments for women with urinary incontinence, says the American College of Physicians (ACP). The ACP recently issued the new, evidence-based guidelines.
There are three types of female urinary incontinence (UI):
- Stress — characterized by the inability to retain urine when laughing, coughing or sneezing
- Urgency — characterized by the sudden and involuntary loss of urine for no reason
- Mixed — a blend of both stress and urgency UI.
The ACP recommends Kegels for women with stress UI, and bladder training for women with urgency UI. The ACP also recommends Kegels and bladder training for women with mixed UI. Obese women with urinary incontinence should lose weight and exercise, says the national physicians ‘organization.
It’s estimated that as many as half of the women with UI do not report it to their physician. See your doctor if you suspect you have urinary incontinence.