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Taking Control: 3 Tips to Help With Urinary Incontinence

Accidents happen, but your loved one doesn’t have to suffer in silence with urinary incontinence.

By Clover Health

If you’re caring for somebody who’s experiencing urine leakage, you can help. Get the facts about diagnosis and treatment options—and then encourage them to speak with the doctor. 

The Facts about Incontinence

For older women, incontinence can be caused by weak or overactive bladder muscles, weak pelvic floor muscles, or damage to nerves that control the bladder. 

For older men, incontinence is usually related to the prostate gland, such as a blockage from an enlarged prostate. Inflammation of the prostate gland, or damage to nerves or muscles due to surgery are other causes. 

Health conditions that make it hard to get up and around— like arthritis—mean it’s tough to get to the toilet in time. 

There are different types of urinary incontinence. An accurate diagnosis is key to finding the right treatment. The doctor will likely start with blood and urine tests. 

3 Tips to Help With Urinary Incontinence

After talking with the doctor, you might learn simple steps you can help your loved one with: 

Pelvic Exercises 

Exercises help strengthen the pelvic muscles that control bladder flow.

Timed Voiding

Time voiding means using the restroom on a regular schedule, such as every hour, then gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits. Help your loved one set up a routine with a timer or alarm. 

Lifestyle changes 

Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and opting for water instead of other beverages help. 

If these tips don’t work, medication or in-office treatments could ease the issue. Surgery might help if the problem is caused by the position of the bladder or a blockage caused by an enlarged prostate. 

Help your loved one work closely with their doctor to find a solution that could work for them. It may be possible to eliminate the issue completely! 

This article was originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Clover Living magazine. Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to Clover Living magazine for free (if you aren’t already subscribed) here.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Kumar Dharmarajan.

Published on 4/23/22

Photo credit: iStock