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Treatment for Different Types of Urinary Incontinence continued...

Here's how:

  1. Squeeze the muscles that you use stop the flow of urine.
  2. Hold the squeeze for 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
  3. Do 3 or 4 sets daily.

Note: You can learn how to do Kegels by stopping your urine, but don’t do this routinely. Stopping the flow of urine can lead to an infection.

Biofeedback. A probe is inserted to monitor when your bladder muscles squeeze. When you’re able to recognize it as it's happening, you can start to gain control of it. It's often used in combination with Kegel exercises.

Pessary. For women, doctors may prescribe a device called a pessary that is inserted into the vagina. It repositions the urethra to help reduce leakage.

Injections and surgery. Shots to bulk up your urethral area may help. In more extreme cases, you may need surgery. One procedure pulls the bladder back up to a more normal position, relieving the pressure and leakage. Another surgery involves securing the bladder with a "sling," a piece of material that holds up the bladder to prevent leakage.

For urge incontinence, treatment options include:

Timed voiding and bladder training. First, you complete a chart of the times you pee and the times you leak. You observe patterns and then plan to empty your bladder before an accident would happen. You can also "retrain" your bladder, gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits. Kegel exercises are also helpful.

Medications, electrical stimulation, or surgery. Doctors sometimes prescribe medicines that block the contractions of an overactive bladder. Electrical stimulation of the bladder nerves helps in some cases. Surgery is reserved for severe cases. It aims to increase the amount of urine your bladder can store.

For overflow incontinence, treatments include:

Medication or surgery. Meds called alpha-blockers often can help if the problem is caused by an enlarged prostate. If there's a blockage, you may need surgery.

Catheter. Some people use a catheter to make sure their bladder is emptied. It's a thin plastic tube that you insert in your urethra. A doctor or nurse can teach you how to insert it for yourself.

Incontinence Coping Tips

How to keep inconvenience and embarrassment to a minimum
View slideshow