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Incontinence

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:47 pm
Urinary incontinence is a loss of urine control. It is usually caused by an underlying condition such as a urinary tract disorder or a problem with the nerves that control the bladder. At the first sign of incontinence, it is recommended that you see a doctor for a complete medical examination. In women, urinary incontinence may be caused by weakened pelvic muscles due to pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you do exercises at home to strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles. Your doctor may also prescribe certain medications that stabilize the activity of the bladder so you are urinating at intervals further apart. You may be able to reestablish some or all bladder control by using self-help methods. Try going to the bathroom at frequent, regular intervals, keep a bedpan within reach of your bed, and make sure your clothing is easy to remove. Keep an alarm clock to serve as a memory aid. It can be set at regular intervals to remind you to use the bathroom. Drink as little liquid as possible in the evening before bedtime. There are several incontinence aids that you can wear. One is specially designed disposable underwear that absorbs urine into an outer layer. The underwear also neutralizes the urine odor and leaves the layer next to the skin fairly dry. For men, a condom catheter can be used. It is a catheter that is worn over the penis and is connected by a tube to a bag. The bag can be emptied when necessary. For more information, contact a health care provider.
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