Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Problems with urine leakage may require you to take extra care to prevent skin irritation:

  • Use a washcloth to clean yourself
  • Allow your skin to air-dry
  • Avoid frequent washing and douching because these can overwhelm your body's natural defenses against bladder infections
  • Consider using a barrier cream, such as petroleum jelly or cocoa butter, to protect your skin from urine
  • Ask your doctor about special cleansers made to remove urine that may be less drying than other products.

If you have urge incontinence or nighttime incontinence, make the toilet more convenient:

  • Move any rugs or furniture you might trip over or collide with on the way to the toilet
  • Use a night light to illuminate your path and reduce your risk of falling

If you have functional incontinence, you might:

  • Keep a bedside commode in your bedroom
  • Install an elevated toilet seat
  • Widen an existing bathroom doorway

Coping and support

If you're embarrassed about a bladder control problem, you may try to cope on your own by wearing absorbent pads, carrying extra clothes or even avoiding going out.

But effective treatments are available for urinary incontinence. It's important to ask your doctor about treatment. You'll be on your way to regaining an active and confident life.

Prevention

Urinary incontinence isn't always preventable. However, to help decrease your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Practice pelvic floor exercises
  • Avoid bladder irritants, such as caffeine, alcohol and acidic foods
  • Eat more fiber, which can prevent constipation, a cause of urinary incontinence
  • Don't smoke, or seek help to quit smoking
July 13, 2017
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Female urinary incontinence and voiding dysfunction (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2016.
  2. What is urinary incontinence? Urology Care Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-incontinence. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  3. McAninch JW, et al., eds. Urinary incontinence. In: Smith and Tanagho's General Urology. 18th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=508§ionid=41088107. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  4. South-Paul JE, et al. Urinary incontinence. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  5. Lukacz ES. Evaluation of women with urinary incontinencehttp://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  6. Bladder control problems in women (urinary incontinence). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems-women. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Male urinary incontinence. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 2016.
  8. Bladder control problems in men (urinary incontinence). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems-men. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  9. Gameiro SF, et al. Electrical stimulation with non-implanted electrodes for overactive bladder in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010098.pub4/full. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  10. Jelovsek JE. Surgical management of stress urinary incontinence in women: Choosing a primary surgical procedure. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 18, 2017.
  11. Frawley J, et al. Complementary and conventional health-care utilization among young Australian women with urinary incontinence. Urology. 2017;99:92.
  12. Mo Q, et al. Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. 2015;5:1.
  13. Solberg M. A pilot study on the use of acupuncture or pelvic floor muscle training for mixed urinary incontinence. Acupuncture Medicine. 2016;34:7.
  14. Vinchurkar AS, et al. Integrating yoga therapy in the management of urinary incontinence: A case report. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2015;20:154.
  15. Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 24, 2017.
  16. Ziegelmann MJ, et al. The impact of prior urethral sling on artificial urinary sphincter outcomes. Canadian Urological Association Journal. 2016;10:405.
  17. Linder BJ, et al. Autologous transobturator urethral sling placement for female stress urinary incontinence: Short-term outcomes. Urology. 2016;93:55.
  18. Lukacz ES. Treatment of urinary incontinence in women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 9, 2017.
  19. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Gynecology and the American Urogynecologic Society. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 155: Urinary Incontinence in Women. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015;126:e66.