Looking for a way to help control the embarrassing and annoying leakage that comes with incontinence? Yoga may be one part of the answer. According to a study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, and published in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, doing yoga may reduce a woman’s urinary incontinence episodes by as much as 70 percent.
At Plano Urogynecology Associates, we believe in finding the unique combination of therapies to bring women relief from incontinence.
The study separated 19 women with incontinence into two groups: a group who participated in a six-week yoga therapy program designed to improve pelvic health, and a group who did not do yoga. After six weeks, the women who did yoga reported a 70 percent decrease in frequency of urinary leakage episodes versus only a 13 percent improvement in the control group who did no yoga.
Women who had stress urinary incontinence(SUI) reported the best results. According to the Urology Care Foundation, one in three women will experience stress urinary incontinence, which can cause accidental urinary leakage when you laugh, sneeze, cough, jog or do other exercise.
While more research is needed, researchers in this study believe that yoga helps in the following ways:
Yoga strengthens muscles in the pelvic floor.
We know that weak or damaged sphincter or pelvic muscles, which occur as a result of childbirth, surgery, injury or certain medications, can cause stress incontinence; therefore, if certain yoga poses strengthen those muscles, it may help prevent urinary leakage.
Yoga emphasizes relaxation and mindfulness.
Stress, anxiety and depression can contribute to incontinence, so yoga’s emphasis on relaxation and mindfulness may also help alleviate the symptoms of urinary incontinence.
It’s important to note that the yoga program used in this study was designed by a trained yoga professional to help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. If you decide to try yoga to help with your urinary incontinence, contact a yoga professional because not all types of yoga are helpful with this condition.
Our mantra is “no more leaks,” and if you practice yoga, it may become yours, too. To learn more about ways to combat urinary incontinence, contact Dr. J. Kyle Mathews and Plano Urogynecology Associates or call us at (972) 781-1444.
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