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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Your doctor will do a physical exam, ask questions about your symptoms and past health, and test your urine. Often this is enough to help the doctor find the cause of the incontinence. You may need other tests if the leaking is caused by more than one problem or if the cause is unclear.

Treatments depend on the type of incontinence you have and how much it affects your life. Your treatment may include medicines, simple exercises, or both. A few men need surgery, but most don't.

There are also some things you can do at home. In many cases, these lifestyle changes can be enough to control incontinence.

  • Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee and tea. Also cut back on fizzy drinks like soda pop. And limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink a day.
  • Eat foods high in fiber to help avoid constipation.
  • Don't smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Try simple pelvic-floor exercises like Kegels.
  • Go to the bathroom at several set times each day. Wear clothes that you can remove easily. Make your path to the bathroom as clear and quick as you can.
  • When you urinate, practice double voiding. This means going as much as you can, relaxing for a moment, and then going again.
  • Use a diary to keep track of your symptoms and any leaking of urine. This can help you and your doctor find the best treatment for you.

If you have symptoms of urinary incontinence, don't be embarrassed to tell your doctor. Most people with incontinence can be helped or cured.

Learning about urinary incontinence:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with urinary incontinence:


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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