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.
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?
What tests can be done to find the cause of incontinence?
Are there surgeries or other procedures that can help fix my urinary incontinence?
What to ask your doctor about urinary incontinence; Stress urinary incontinence; Urge urinary incontinence
Newman DK, Burgio KL. Conservative management of urinary incontinence: behavioral and pelvic floor therapy and urethral and pelvic devices. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 121.
Resnick NM. Incontinence. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 23.
Review Date 1/1/2023
Updated by: Kelly L. Stratton, MD, FACS, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.