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Treating Incontinence in Women: Retraining and Self-Cath

You and your doctor can discuss other ways to manage your incontinence. These may be used with or instead of other treatments. Your doctor may teach you ways to “train” your bladder.

Woman walking into womens' bathroom.

Timed Voiding

Timed voiding means urinating on a set schedule. This empties the bladder and helps avoid accidents. Visit the bathroom at the scheduled time—don’t wait until you have the urge to urinate. Your doctor can suggest how often you should urinate.

Bladder Retraining

If you have urge incontinence, you may be used to going to the bathroom very often. To help “retrain” your bladder, your doctor may suggest using Kegel exercises. Each time you feel the urge to urinate, try to stop the feeling by contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Try to hold your urine a little longer each time. Your doctor can give you a goal to work up to. Note that this treatment should never be used in children.

Self-Catheterization

Catheterization uses a thin tube (catheter) to drain urine from the bladder. The catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. You may be asked to perform self-catheterization. Regularly draining your bladder of urine can help control overflow incontinence. The procedure is painless and easy to learn. If this treatment will help you, your health care provider will teach you the process.

 

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