The initial recommended measures in managing incontinence symptoms often relate to changes to diet and lifestyle:
- Changes in fluid intake - normalising fluid intake can bring about a dramatic improvement in those individuals with overactive bladders who may be drinking in excess of 3 litres/day. Similarly those drinking less than 1.5 litres per day may benefit from increasing fluid intake. The ideal fluid intake for an adult is 2-2.5 litres per day
- Reduction in caffeine – a trial of caffeine reduction is indicated in all patients presenting with overactive bladders. Caffeine is present in tea, cola and chocolate as well as coffee
- Weight loss – weight loss should be advised for any individual who has a body mass index above 30kg/m²
- Healthy diet – should be adopted that encourages a regular easy bowel movement
Non-pharmacological treatment, management and containment of urinary incontinence
- Pelvic floor muscle training - usual conservative therapy for women with stress urinary incontinence and mixed urinary incontinence
- Bladder training – widely recommended for those with an overactive bladder
- Oestrogen therapy
Successful management of urinary incontinence with the use of continence products can help people avoid the stigmatising effects of incontinence which can otherwise threaten social working and personal relationships.
- Intermittent self catheterisation
- Suprapubic indwelling catheter
- Urethral indwelling catheter
- Sheaths - or alternative solutions like BioDerm
There are a wide range of medications available to treat different types of urinary incontinence - you can learn more about these here.
For those patients who do not respond to medication or other interventions, surgery may be an option.