Given the increasing incidence of urinary incontinence in our aging population, greater attention is now being given to trying to prevent the condition. An easy intervention would be learning the proper technique of pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) and performing them prior to the onset of urinary incontinence as a preventive measure.
Avoidance of chronic straining and loss of excess weight can reduce the risk of stress urinary incontinence. In addition, patients with complaints of overactive bladder or urinary incontinence should be evaluated soon after the onset of the condition, because patients with mild symptoms often have greater success with more conservative treatment options. Treatment of long-standing disease often involves more aggressive techniques with lower success rates.
The effect of the method of childbirth, vaginal versus cesarean section, is currently debated. It has been suggested that cesarean section may help prevent urinary incontinence, but the data are not clear.
Last reviewed on 1/29/10
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