Doing the Knack to Stop Bladder Leaks

The “Knack” is a trick or a clever body skill of squeezing your pelvic muscles at the right time; before and during a bladder leak (urinary incontinence). If you learn the Knack, you can stop urine leaking from your bladder.

Timing Your Pelvic Muscle Squeezes

The Knack is all about squeezing your pelvic muscles at the right time, when a bladder leak is most likely to occur. You squeeze the pelvic muscles right before and during any activity that increases pressure in your stomach as this puts more pressure on your bladder, leading to leakage. A muscle squeeze will close the valve (sphincter) in your urethra, keep it tight so you will not leak urine.


When to Do the “Knack”

You should figure out those times or events that may trigger urine leakage. This may be any activity that increases pressure in your stomach which in turn, increases the pressure on your bladder, causing urine leakage. Like when you leak urine with a cough, sneeze, laugh, when you bend down or lift, or carry something heavy. You may have a bladder leak when you stand up, or climb up stairs. These activities put pressure on your bladder and push the urine out.

So do a gentle pelvic muscle squeeze -

• Right before a cough and holding the muscle squeeze throughout the cough
• As you get up out of a chair, squeeze your pelvic muscles and hold them as you stand up.
• As you get out of bed, squeeze your muscles before you move to sit on the side of the bed and then squeeze again as you stand up.
• As you start to bend down to pick up something, squeeze your muscles and hold the squeeze as you stand back up.
• If you have bladder leaks when jogging or when exercising, it may be difficult to do the knack at those times. You may want to stop the exercise, do a few muscle squeezes and then continue on.

But if you forget to squeeze your muscles and pee does leak out, go ahead and squeeze your muscles anyway. There’s no reason to feel discouraged. This will not prevent you from leaking pee at that time, but it will help teach your muscles to squeeze with that activity, and may stop your bladder from leaking next time. In time, it will become automatic.

Make the “Knack” Part of Your Daily Life

Remember, do your pelvic muscle squeezes often, make them a habit. Do your squeezes when you are:
• Standing at the sink and brushing your teeth
• Sitting in the car at a red light or stop sign
• Reading a book in bed
• Going for a walk
• Talking on the phone

It may take some time for the KNACK 
to become part of your daily life.


© 2009/2020 Diane Newman PATIENT EDUCATION – THE KNACK