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Managing Female Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence more often affects females than males because of differences in the structure of the urinary system, pregnancy, and childbirth. Depending on the underlying cause and extent of incontinence, there are various ways to manage the condition.

Conservative Approaches

There is a wide range of tools available to manage urinary incontinence without medical assistance. Purchasing incontinence products can be important for security, even if your incontinence is minimal. Although many women use sanitary napkins instead of incontinence pads, they are made to handle different issues. Purchasing products specifically geared toward incontinence might produce better results. Pads are the most widely used incontinence product for women with minor to moderate leaks. They are fairly discreet, even the thicker pads, and are not easy to detect under clothing. Incontinence underwear is an excellent tool for more protection and dealing with leaks while you sleep. As incontinence underwear has improved, they are more similar to panties than older, bulky designs.

Behavioral And Physical Therapy

Some behavioral strategies might work well to reduce leaks. Urinating on a consistent schedule may reduce the amount of urine in your bladder that can leak. Double voiding is a tactic that involves urinating, then waiting a short time later, and attempting to urinate again. This can help women who have issues fully emptying their bladder, thereby causing leaks. The most basic form of physical therapy used for urinary incontinence is Kegel exercises. This involves practicing controlling the flow of urine by engaging the appropriate pelvic muscles. If Kegels do not help, it is possible you are doing them incorrectly. Finding a physical therapist that specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction is a good way to be certain you are doing the exercises correctly and address other dysfunctions that might cause incontinence.


Urge incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence that occurs because of unusually strong, sudden urges to urinate. Medications may be available to help with this type of incontinence. The medications help relax muscles in the bladder to reduce sudden urges that might cause leaks. The goal is to find the right medicine that prevents intense urges, while not losing the urge to urinate entirely, which would cause worse incontinence problems. Some medications also work by increasing the capacity of your bladder and allowing you to empty your bladder fully when urinating.

Female urinary incontinence is a common problem, but most instances can be controlled with a combination of conservative management and medications. If you experience urinary incontinence, it is important to determine the underlying cause so it's easier to find an effective management approach.