Font Size

Incontinence FAQs (cont.)

What causes incontinence?

Several factors contribute to incontinence. Many causes can be treated, thus eliminating symptoms of incontinence. Some causes are gender-specific, meaning that they occur in males or females exclusively. Among the known causes and contributing factors for incontinence are the following:

Difficulties with toilet training in childhood have nothing to do with incontinence occurring later in life. Having an incontinent parent does not automatically mean a person will suffer with incontinence later in life.

What lifestyle and health factors reduce the likelihood of incontinence?

The following lifestyle habits can help you maintain bladder and urinary health:

  • Urinate regularly, and do not delay having bowel movements.
  • Drink adequate fluids, 6-8 cups a day, to maintain a urinary output of 50 ounces per day, more if you are exercising or sweating due to hot weather.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight (body mass index < 25).
  • Eat a healthy diet low in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Limit consumption of spicy foods, chocolate, and citrus or acidic fruits.
  • Exercise regularly. Kegel exercises (exercises that strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor) also help women strengthen muscles used during urination.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2014
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Incontinence FAQs

Bedwetting Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) is the involuntary passage of urine while sleeping. Causes of bedwetting include urinary tract infection, diabetes, emotional pr...learn more >>
Bladder Control Problems
Bladder Control Problems Bladder control problems, or urinary incontinence, affect over 13 million people in the U.S. Causes include urinary tract infection, overactive bladder, blocked...learn more >>
Cystoscopy Cystoscopy is the use of a scope (cystoscope) to examine the bladder. This is done either to look at the bladder for abnormalities or to help with surgery being...learn more >>

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Incontinence, Urinary: Nonsurgical Therapies »

Urinary incontinence is defined by the International Continence Society as the involuntary loss of urine that represents a hygienic or social problem to the individual.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary