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When To Call a Doctor

See your doctor right away if your urinary incontinence does not go away or you also have:

  • Weakness or numbness in your buttocks, legs, and feet.
  • Fever, chills, and belly or flank pain.
  • Blood in your urine or burning with urination.
  • A change in your bowel habits.

Call your doctor if:

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  • Your incontinence gets worse.
  • Leaking urine is enough of a problem that you need to wear a pad to absorb it.
  • Incontinence interferes with your life in any way.

Don't be embarrassed to discuss incontinence with your doctor. It is not something that always happens with aging. Most people with incontinence can be helped or cured.

If you have a sudden change in your ability to urinate and you are not sure if it is related to your urinary incontinence, see the topic Urinary Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older.

Watchful waiting

If you have chronic urinary incontinence that begins slowly, you may be able to control the problem yourself. If home treatment doesn't control your problem, or if incontinence bothers you, ask your doctor about treatment.

If you have incontinence that begins suddenly (acute), call your doctor. Acute incontinence is often caused by urinary tract problems or medicines. It can be easily corrected.

Who to see

Any of the following health professionals can diagnose and treat urinary incontinence:

If you need surgery to treat your incontinence, make sure to find a surgeon who is experienced in the type of surgery you need, usually a urologist.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 06, 2013
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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