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Other Treatment

Other types of treatment for urinary incontinence include:

  • Behavioral methodsBehavioral methods. These are often the first thing to try. They often work well. They include:
    • Bladder training (also called bladder retraining). This is used to treat urge incontinence. With bladder training, you slowly increase how long you can wait before having to urinate by trying to delay urination after you get the urge to go.
    • Biofeedback. This is a technique for learning to control a body function that is not normally under conscious control. It is usually used to teach pelvic floor muscle exercises.
    • Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels). Kegel exercises can help strengthen some of the muscles that control the flow of urine. These exercises are used to treat urge or stress incontinence.
  • AcupunctureAcupuncture. There isn't a lot of evidence for how well acupuncture works for urinary incontinence. In one study, comparing bladder-specific acupuncture to sham acupuncture, both groups had less incontinence. But the group with bladder-specific acupuncture didn't have as many episodes of urgency.2
  • Mechanical devices, such as a pessary.
  • Absorbent productsAbsorbent products, such as diapers.

Before trying behavioral methods or exercise for urinary incontinence, ask your doctor the following questions:

Recommended Related to Urinary Incontinence/OAB

Diagnosing Overactive Bladder

Even though bladder problems affect some 33 million adults in the U.S., it can be an embarrassing subject to discuss, even with your doctor. That’s why overactive bladder, also known as OAB or urge incontinence, is often called the "hidden condition." You might believe, as many people do, that overactive bladder is just an unpleasant but inescapable part of getting older. Actually it isn’t -- and there is something you can do. Seeing your doctor and having tests for overactive bladder can help you...

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  • Is behavioral or exercise therapy alone likely to restore bladder control? Mild to moderate cases of common types of incontinence can be cured or greatly improved by these methods.
  • How long should I try behavioral or exercise techniques before I consider surgery or other treatment methods? Techniques like Kegel exercises don't limit future treatment options (and they may even improve the odds of success for other treatments). So it is best to set a length of time after which the improvement can be evaluated.
  • Can I use exercises or behavioral methods along with medicine if medicine treatment is recommended? It may be possible to take medicine for a shorter time or to reduce the amount of medicines used if other methods of treatment are combined with medicine.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 14, 2014
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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