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Urinary incontinence - what to ask your doctor

Definition

You have urinary incontinence. This means that you are not able to keep urine from leaking from your urethra, the tube that carries urine out of your body from your bladder. Urinary incontinence may occur as you get older. It can also develop after a surgery or childbirth.There are different types of incontinence. Your health care provider will evaluate your type and recommend appropriate treatment. You can do many things to help keep urinary incontinence from affecting your daily life.

Alternative Names

What to ask your doctor about urinary incontinence

Questions

What can I do to help protect my skin? How do I wash? Are there creams or ointments I can use? What can I do about odor?

How can I protect the mattress on my bed? What should I use to clean a mattress?

How much water or liquids should I drink every day?

Which foods or liquids can make my urinary incontinence worse?

Are there activities I should avoid that may cause problems with urine control?

How can I train my bladder to help avoid having symptoms?

Are there exercises I can do to help with my urinary incontinence? What are Kegel exercises?

What can I do when I want to exercise? Are there exercises that may make my urinary incontinence worse?

Are there products available that can help?

Are there medicines or drugs that I can take to help? What are the side effects?

Are there surgeries that can help fix my urinary incontinence?

References

Newman DK, Burgio KL. Conservative management of urinary incontinence: behavioral and pelvic floor therapy and urethral and pelvic devices. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 80.

Resnick NM. Incontinence. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 26.

Review Date:2/21/2017
Reviewed By:Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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