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Incontinence FAQs (cont.)

What is a urination diary?

Your doctor may ask you to keep a urination diary to determine factors contributing to your condition. Things you will be asked to record include

  • types and amount of liquids consumed;
  • times of urge to urinate;
  • strength of urge to urinate or pain;
  • time of urination;
  • volume of urine;
  • and amount, if any, of leakage

What are Kegel exercises?

Women are often instructed to do Kegel exercises to strengthen their pelvic-floor muscles. Kegel exercises are most often taught at childbirth classes. While Kegel exercises assist in vaginal childbirth, they can also strengthen the muscles that help you hold back urine. Kegel exercises are believed to reduce the incidence of stress and urge incontinence. Unfortunately, Kegel exercises are often done incorrectly, thus offering no benefit. The following instructions describe the correct way to do a Kegel exercise:

  • Find the correct muscles by inserting your first two fingers into the vagina. Squeeze your pelvic muscles as if you are holding urine. The muscles you feel tighten around your fingers are the muscles you need to use when performing Kegel exercises.
  • Squeeze and hold these muscles tight for three to 10 seconds, then relax the same muscles for three to 10 seconds. Do this for 10 to 20 repetitions, three times each day.

For More Information on Incontinence

Society Urodynamics & Female Urology (SUFU)

National Association for Continence

American Urological Association

The Simon Foundation for Continence

The Simon Foundation for Continence, The Importance of Diagnosis

MedlinePlus, Urinary Incontinence

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

MedlinePlus, Urinary Incontinence

Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology


"Evaluation of women with urinary incontinence"

"Treatment of urinary incontinence in women"

Last Reviewed 11/17/2017
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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.

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