Urinary Problems and Injuries, Age 12 and Older - Home Treatment
Recurrent bladder infections in women continued...
If you are certain that your symptoms are caused by a bladder infection, follow your doctor's instructions for taking the medicine and monitoring your symptoms. Keep a diary of the number of times you use your self-treatment plan. Call your doctor if:
- Your symptoms do not improve after 48 hours of treatment.
- You start having bladder infections more often than in the past.
Your self-treatment plan is developed for your health needs. Do not take antibiotics that have not been specifically prescribed for this bladder infection. Do not take antibiotics left over from a previous prescription or antibiotics prescribed for someone else.
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.