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Urinary Problems and Injuries,Age 12 and Older - Home Treatment

Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is common, especially among older adults. Home treatment can often help decrease your symptoms.

  • Talk to your doctor about your incontinence at your next regularly scheduled appointment.
  • Reduce the amount of fluids you drink to no more than 2 qt (2 L) daily.
  • Establish a schedule of urinating every 2 to 4 hours, whether you feel the need or not.
  • Make a clear, quick path to the bathroom, and wear clothes that you can easily remove, such as ones with elastic waistbands or Velcro closures. Keep a bedpan or urinal close to your bed or chair.
  • Practice "double voiding" by urinating as much as possible, relaxing for a few moments, and then urinating again.
  • Do not drink caffeinated or carbonated beverages, such as caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda.
  • Do not drink more than 1 alcohol drink a day.
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Constipation may make your symptoms worse. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 12 and Older.
  • Talk with your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines you take, including nonprescription medicines, to see whether any of them may be making your incontinence worse.
  • Strengthen your pelvic muscles by doing Kegel exercises every day and by having a regular exercise program.
  • Control your weight. If you are overweight, try to lose some weight. Remember that effective weight-loss programs depend on a combination of diet and exercise. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
  • Quit smoking or using other tobacco products. This may reduce the amount that you cough, which may reduce your problem with incontinence. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

Home treatment for other urinary problems

For information about home treatment for other urinary problems, see the following:

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • Other symptoms develop, such as fever, belly pain, or vomiting.
  • You are unable to urinate or have increasing difficulty urinating.
  • Symptoms of a bladder infection do not completely go away after home treatment.
  • More urinary symptoms develop, such as localized back pain (flank pain) or blood in your urine.
  • Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 10, 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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