Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options
According to the National Association For Continence, 80% of people affected by urinary incontinence can improve their condition – but only one in 12 seek help.
Three of the least invasive treatment options are changing diet, behavioral modification and physical therapy.
What you eat and drink can play a big role in controlling urinary incontinence. Experiment with the effects of moderating or eliminating your intake of these foods for a few days:
- Spicy foods and citrus fruits – known to irritate the bladder
- Caffeinated coffee and soft drinks – stimulate the bladder and increase urine production
- Alcohol – increases the need to urinate and interferes with brain signals to the bladder about when to release urine
- Sugar and other sweeteners – may trigger bladder symptoms
Doctors also suggest that you avoid eating or drinking right before bedtime. Finally, if you experience constipation in conjunction with urinary incontinence, try eating fiber-rich, bladder-friendly foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice and beans.
Bladder retraining can help treat urge incontinence. This involves teaching yourself to “hold it” when you get the urge to urinate, by taking deep, slow breaths or focusing on another activity. Make your initial goal to delay urinating for 10 minutes, with the ultimate goal of holding off urination until you are going to the bathroom every two to four hours.
To help address overflow incontinence, you can try double voiding. This means going to bathroom, waiting a few minutes, then trying to go again, to ensure the bladder is emptied completely.
In addition, the Mayo Clinic suggests maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and exercising as steps to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence.
To address both stress and urge incontinence, you can do Kegel exercises, in which you repeatedly contract specific muscles in your pelvic area for about three seconds, then relax them. To locate the correct muscles, squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you are trying to delay urinating, but avoid tightening your abdominal, buttock or leg muscles.
Performing four sets of 10 Kegel exercises each day can strengthen the sphincter muscles, which helps prevent the loss of urine and calms the bladder.
In addition to these options, there are medications and surgical procedures available to help address incontinence.
Overflow incontinence due to obstruction should be treated with medication or surgery to remove the blockage. The doctor may also prescribe self-catheterization several times a day to help ensure complete bladder emptying.
Discreet Incontinence Types of Urinary Incontinence Management Products
In addition to urinary catheters and supplies from all major manufacturers, Edgepark offers a wide variety of absorbent and hygienic products that can help manage urinary incontinence.
Guards (Men) / Panty Liners or Pads (Women)
Body-shaped pad inserts anatomically designed to increase comfort and absorbency. Most have an adhesive strip for added security. Usually used for stress and urge incontinence, they hold less content, but can be used in conjunction with regular undergarments for a better hold and comfort.
Mesh or Knit Pant
Two-piece system designed to be reusable and washable for moderate to high absorbency. The inserts or pads are available in different shapes and absorbency to better fit one’s needs.
Designed to look and feel more like regular underwear, they are available in an array of sizes to ensure a proper fit. They are very comfortable and offer moderate to heavy protection.
Female Urethral Insert
Consists of a narrow silicone tube encased in a soft, mineral oil-filled sleeve that glides into the urethra, conforming to the bladder neck to prevent accidental leakage. This disposable, single-use product should be fitted the first time by a health care professional trained in its use.
Disposable or reusable design to absorb leakage, reduce odor and maintain dryness. Ideal for protection on wheelchairs or bed linens.
Skin Care Products
A variety of products are available, such as washcloths that kill germs and reduce irritation to maintain healthier skin. Powders and creams are available to protect skin and reduce odor.