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.