Ancient yoga training program can help women with urinary incontinence

ANI| Updated: Apr 26, 2014, 13:37 PM IST

Washington: An ancient form of meditation and exercise could help women who suffer from urinary incontinence, a new study suggests.

In the study, UC San Francisco researchers discovered that a yoga training program, designed to improve pelvic health, can help women gain more control over their urination and avoid accidental urine leakage .

"Yoga is often directed at mindful awareness, increasing relaxation, and relieving anxiety and stress," first author Alison Huang, MD, assistant professor in the UCSF School of Medicine said.

"For these reasons, yoga has been directed at a variety of other conditions - metabolic syndrome or pain syndromes - but there's also a reason to think that it could help for incontinence as well," she said.

Huang and her colleagues believe that yoga can improve urinary incontinence through more than one mechanism. Because incontinence is associated with anxiety and depression, women suffering from incontinence may benefit from yoga's emphasis on mindful meditation and relaxation.

But regular practice of yoga may also help women strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the bladder and protect against incontinence.

The study is set to be published in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Urogynecologic Society.