Urinary incontinence is the accidental release of urine. It can happen when you cough, laugh, sneeze, or jog. Or you may have a sudden need to go to the bathroom but can’t get there in time. Bladder control problems are very common, especially among older adults. They usually don’t cause major health problems, but they can be embarrassing.
Incontinence can be a short-term problem caused by a urinary tract infection, a medicine, or constipation. It gets better when you treat the problem that is causing it. But this topic focuses on ongoing urinary incontinence.
Urinary Incontinence in Women – Treatment Overview. Urinary incontinence isn’t an inevitable result of aging. Most women who have it can be helped or cured. The best treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence and your personal preferences.
Behavioral training, such as bladder training and timed urination. For more information, see Other Treatment.
Lifestyle changes and pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises. For more information, see Home Treatment.
Medicines. For more information, see Medications.
Medical devices. For more information, see Other Treatment.
Surgery. For more information, see Surgery.
Behavioral training, exercises and lifestyle changes, and medicines are usually tried first. If the problem does not get better, your doctor may try another treatment or do more tests.
When there is more than one cause for incontinence, the most significant cause is treated first, followed by treatment for the secondary cause, if needed.