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Urinary incontinence - what to ask your doctor

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. You can do many things to help keep urinary incontinence from affecting your daily life.

Questions

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 problem bladder? 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?

Are there surgeries that can help fix my urinary incontinence?

Alternate Names

What to ask your doctor about urinary incontinence

Update Date: 12/12/2012

Updated by: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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