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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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4 Drugs Linked to Urinary Incontinence

3. Diuretics and Incontinence continued...

That translates to more bathroom visits and a worsening of incontinence symptoms, he says.

"If you need the diuretic, you need it," says Ginsberg. But he recommends you pay more attention to the recommended incontinence treatments, following your doctor's instructions to the letter.

That may mean paying more attention to doing Kegel exercises, designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Weakened pelvic floor muscles are often the cause of a common type of urinary incontinence called stress incontinence, in which small amounts of urine are leaked, especially when you cough, sneeze, or laugh.

Once you learn how to do Kegel exercises correctly (ask your gynecologist or internist for help), you can do them nearly anytime -- even while driving a car or watching TV or sitting at your desk.

If nighttime incontinence is a problem, you might ask your doctor if you could take the diuretic in the morning, suggests Jennifer Anger, MD, MPH, a urologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Los Angeles.

That way, the volume of urine would be greater in the morning and hopefully taper off as the day goes on.

4. Sleeping Pills and Incontinence

Only a small percent of people with incontinence have a problem with bed-wetting, according to Anger, who estimates that about 10% of patients with incontinence wet the bed. However, sleeping pills may pose a problem for those with incontinence at night.

"Sleeping pills can make things worse, because people don't wake up [when their bladder is full]," she says.

As an alternative, cut down on caffeine so you sleep better on your own, Anger suggests.

Sleep will come more easily if you keep a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule, according to the National Sleep Foundation. You can also develop a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as reading a book or listening to soothing music.

How to Talk About Urinary Incontinence

Bringing up the topic of urinary incontinence with your doctor or your spouse is never easy; most people are at least a bit embarrassed. But open communication can help you find out about the causes of incontinence and whether your medications may be contributing.

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