According to Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana, yoga – an ancient form of meditation and exercise – can effectively help women who suffer from urinary incontinence.
In a new study, researchers discovered that a group yoga-training program, specifically designed to improve pelvic health, could actually help women garner more control over their urination and ultimately avoid accidental leakage.
Yoga is typically directed at mindful awareness, increased relaxation, and relief from anxiety and stress. Because of this, its practice has been used to treat a variety of conditions, and there’s sufficient reason to believe that it can provide relief from incontinence as well.
The study included 20 women who were 40 years and older who were suffering from urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Half of those women were asked to participate in a 6-week yoga therapy program. Those women enjoyed an overall 70% reduction in their urine leakage. The other half who did not practice yoga saw less than a 15% improvement.
Because incontinence is often connected with anxiety and depression, women suffering from it may benefit from yoga’s of meditation and relaxation. But regular practice of yoga can also help strengthen the muscles of a woman’s pelvic floor, which support the bladder and defend against incontinence.
But your Columbus gynecologist warns that not all types of yoga will help with urinary incontinence. The yoga program used in the study was specially designed with input from yoga consultants who have experience teaching women to practice yoga in ways that will improve their pelvic health.
Note: Men were not included in this study because urinary incontinence in men is often related to problems related to the prostate, which may be less likely to improve with yoga.
If you or someone you know is suffering from female urinary incontinence, call the office of Columbus gynecologist Dr. Otto Umana today to discuss your treatment options.