Is there anything I can do to prevent urinary incontinence?

Yes. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles regularly can help prevent bladder problems. These exercises are called Kegels.

How to do Kegel exercises:

  1. It may be easier to begin practicing these exercises while lying down.
  2. Squeeze the muscles in your genital area as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine or trying to stop from passing gas. Try not to squeeze the muscles in your belly or legs at the same time.
  3. Relax. Squeeze the muscles again and hold for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds. Do this 8 more times. Work up to 5 sets of 10.
  4. When your muscles get stronger, do your exercises sitting or standing. You can do these exercises any time, while sitting at your desk, in the car, waiting in line, doing the dishes, etc.

Be patient. It may take 3 to 6 weeks before you see results. If you’re not sure you’re doing Kegel exercises right, ask your doctor or nurse to check you while you try to do them. If you aren’t squeezing the right muscles, your doctor or nurse can teach you the right way to do the exercises. A pelvic floor physical therapist may be available in your area to help teach you how to strengthen these muscles or help you with other treatments.