Gregory J. Bailey MD, FACOG, FPMRS
6440 W Newberry Rd, Suite 409
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 333-6161





No one is sure exactly how to prevent urinary incontinence; many of the risk factors are difficult or impossible to change (such as the genetic component, or the presence of other diseases which can lead to pelvic floor problems). However, there are certain things that can reduce the likelihood or severity of incontinence.

In general, avoid increasing pressure inside the abdomen and on the pelvic floor by:

  • Maintaining a normal weight or losing weight if overweight. Overweight women have a greater risk for developing incontinence. Carrying excess weight also worsens the severity of urinary incontinence.
  • Constipation and chronic straining during bowel movement can weaken the muscles and nerves and stretches the connective tissues of the pelvic floor predisposing women to develop incontinence. A diet with plenty of fiber and fluids, as well as regular exercise is important for maintaining healthy bowel function. If constipation persists despite these measures, further evaluation and treatment is recommended.
  • Seek medical attention to evaluate and treat a chronic cough.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and learn how to lift safely by using leg and arm muscles.
  • Don’t smoke, or kick the habit!
  • Avoid repetitive strenuous activities.
  • Learn and perform pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegel) regularly.

Treatment Options
The good news is that 80 to 90% of women who seek help for urinary incontinence will experience significant improvement. A wide array of treatment options, ranging from behavioral and diet changes to surgical options, exist and are being used every day to help women recover parts of their lives they may have let go. Get evaluated and review treatment options appropriate for your urinary incontinence. The more you know, the more confident you will be in choosing the direction of treatment.

Depending upon the extent of symptoms, and a woman’s goals, there is one or several treatment options for your bladder control problems.

Lifestyle Changes
Medicines for Bladder Control
Pessary Use
Nerve Stimulation

American Urogynecologic Society
Original publication date: May, 2008; Content updated: March, 2012

Women's Pelvic Health, 6440 W Newberry Rd, Suite 409, Gainesville FL, 32605 (352) 333-6161