Yoga For the Treatment of Female Urinary Incontinence?

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An estimated 17 million women in the United States are currently dealing with Female Urinary Incontinence. Urinary Incontinence is a medical term used to describe a condition of not being able to control the flow of urine from your body. Symptoms may include leakage of urine when sneezing, coughing, laughing, exercising or lifting heavy objects. It may also include having a strong urge to urinate and not being able to make it to the bathroom in time. The symptoms of Urinary Incontinence can vary widely from woman to woman. For some women the symptoms are merely irritating while for others, they are debilitating.

Yoga is an ancient form of meditation and exercise that is currently practiced around the world. A new study published in the April 25, 2014 edition of the journal, Female Pelvic & Reconstructive Surgery, found that yoga may be helpful in treating Female Urinary Incontinence. Researchers from the University of California San Francisco discovered that a yoga training program that was designed to improve pelvic health can help women gain more control over their urination. They also found that this same program helped women to avoid accidental urine leakage.

The study included 20 women from the bay area who were forty years and older and who suffered from urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Half of the women were randomly assigned to take part in a six-week yoga therapy program and the other half were not. The group who participated in the yoga program saw a 70% reduction in the frequency of their urine leakage compared to their baseline. The group that did not participate in the yoga therapy program only saw a 13% reduction.

Since this was a relatively small study, it is certainly not conclusive, however, it shows that certain types of yoga may be helpful in treating female urinary incontinence. Clearly, more research is needed on this important topic.

Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.
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