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