Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on the type of incontinence, its severity and the underlying cause. A combination of treatments may be needed. Your doctor is likely to suggest the least invasive treatments first and move on to other options only if these techniques fail.
Your doctor may recommend:
Your doctor may recommend that you do these exercises frequently to strengthen the muscles that help control urination. Also known as Kegel exercises, these techniques are especially effective for stress incontinence but may also help urge incontinence.
To do pelvic floor muscle exercises, imagine that you’re trying to stop your urine flow. Then:
Electrodes are temporarily inserted into your rectum or vagina to stimulate and strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Gentle electrical stimulation can be effective for stress incontinence and urge incontinence, but you may need multiple treatments over several months.
Medications commonly used to treat incontinence include:
Devices designed to treat women with incontinence include:
Interventional therapies that may help with incontinence include:
If other treatments aren’t working, several surgical procedures can treat the problems that cause urinary incontinence:
If medical treatments can’t completely eliminate your incontinence, you can try products that help ease the discomfort and inconvenience of leaking urine:
Problems with urine leakage may require you to take extra care to prevent skin irritation:
There are no alternative medicine therapies that have been proved to cure urinary incontinence. Initial pilot studies have shown that acupuncture can provide some short-term benefit, but more research is needed.
If you’re embarrassed about a bladder control problem, you may try to cope on your own by wearing absorbent pads, carrying extra clothes or even avoiding going out.
But effective treatments are available for urinary incontinence. It’s important to ask your doctor about treatment. You’ll be on your way to regaining an active and confident life.
Urinary incontinence isn’t always preventable. However, to help decrease your risk: