Management of Urinary Incontinence

Talk to your health care provider if you experience urinary incontinence. There are several ways to help reduce incontinence symptoms.

  • Avoid overconsumption of diuretics, antidepressants, antihistamines, and cough-cold preparations.
  • Perform Kegel exercises as recommended.
  • Practice double voiding (urinate, wait a few seconds, urinate again).
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains daily to prevent constipation.
  • Retrain the bladder (urinate only every 3 to 6 hours).
  • Stop smoking (nicotine irritates the bladder).

A number of protective devices are available to help manage accidental urination, including the following:

  • Bed pads
  • Combination pad-pant systems
  • Disposable or reusable adult diapers
  • Full-length absorbent undergarments
  • Male incontinence drip collectors
  • Underwear liners (pads, guards, shields, inserts)

Early reliance on absorbent pads may cause the wearer to accept incontinence rather than seek diagnosis and treatment. These products should be applied correctly and changed often to prevent skin irritation and urinary tract infection (UTI).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015