Urinary Incontinence Treatment

The treatment for urinary incontinence is based on the type of incontinence, its severity as well as the cause. A combination of treatments might be necessary.

Your physician will probably recommend the least invasive treatments first and proceed to other alternatives only if these treatments fail.

Behavioral Techniques

Bladder training – to hold off urination once you have the urge to go. Begin by attempting to hold off for 10 minutes each time you feel an urge to urinate. The goal is to increase the time between trips to the toilet until you’re urinating only every two to four hours.

Double voiding – to help you learn to drain your bladder more thoroughly to prevent overflow incontinence. Double voiding means urinating, and then waiting a short while and trying once more.

Scheduled toilet trips – to urinate every two to four hours instead of waiting for the need to go.

Fluid and diet management – regaining control of your bladder. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or acidic foods. Cutting down on liquid intake, reducing weight or exercise may also relieve the symptoms.

Pelvic Muscle Floor Exercises

Your physician may suggest that you perform pelvic floor exercises regularly to enhance the strength of the muscles that regulate urination.

Generally known as Kegel exercises, these exercises are primarily helpful for stress incontinence but may also help urge incontinence.

To do these exercises, imagine that you’re trying to stop urine flow. Then,

  • Stiffen (contract) the muscles you use to stop urinating and hold for five seconds, next relax for five seconds.
  • Build up to holding the contractions for 10 seconds each time.
  • Target a minimum of 3 sets of 10 repetitions every day.

To let you pinpoint and contract the right muscles, your physician may recommend you work with a physical therapist.

Other treatments include:

  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Surgery – if non-surgical treatments aren’t working, a few surgical procedures can deal with the problems that cause urinary incontinence:
    • Sling procedure
    • Prolapse surgery
    • Bladder neck suspension
    • Artificial urinary sphincter