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Functional Incontinence: Timed Voiding and Prompted Voiding


Topic Overview

Functional incontinence occurs when a person is unable to reach the bathroom in time to urinate because of physical or mental limitations, such as problems with walking, conditions such as arthritis, or problems with reasoning (such as dementia). People who have functional incontinence can try timed voiding and prompted voiding to control incontinence.

Timed voiding

Timed voiding is also called habit training. It sets a schedule for urinating (voiding) that is determined by your personal habits. It doesn't attempt to increase how long you can wait before having to urinate or teach you to resist the urge to urinate.

Prompted voiding

Prompted voiding requires a caregiver to prompt you to urinate. The goal is to decrease the chance of accidents by making you aware of the need to urinate periodically. Prompted voiding usually is used in combination with timed voiding for people who are unaware of their bodily functions, such as people who have dementia.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAvery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
Last RevisedJuly 17, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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