Physical or mental impairment


Functional Incontinence is a physical or mental impairment that may keep you from making it to the restroom in time. An example of this type of incontinence may be that you have a problem with walking that does not allow you to make it to the bathroom in time.

Symptoms & Causes
Causes: WebMD says mental or physical problems that prevent you from reaching the toilet on time.

Symptoms: Arthritis, dementia or other mental or physical impairments can lead to functional issues.

Risk Factors & Complications

Gender and age are not the only risk factors; according to the Urology Care Foundation, risk factors of getting urinary incontinence include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Chronic coughing
  • Nerve injuries to the lower back
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Caucasian or Hispanic race

If urinary incontinence goes untreated, it can lead to infections and other problems. While physical discomfort affects your daily life, the emotional stress of dealing with urinary incontinence is an important factor to consider. The Urology Care Foundation, official foundation of the American Urological Association, says many people who have urinary incontinence don’t tell anyone about their symptoms; they’re embarrassed and believe nothing can be done, and so suffer in silence.

Dealing with urinary incontinence without treatment can affect the emotional, psychological and social life – those who suffer are not able to live their full lives, afraid to stray too far from a toilet.

Treatment Options

Many people think urinary incontinence is just part of getting older. It’s not. And it can be treated, or even cured.

The Urinary Care Foundation says a quarter to a third of men and women in the U.S. suffer from urinary incontinence. The exact number is unknown because it’s not a problem easily talked about; those affected may be embarrassed or think nothing can be done.

Urinary incontinence can affect a person’s emotional, psychological and social life – it is not just a medical issue. Those who have urinary incontinence are hesitant to do daily activities, not wanting to stray too far from a toilet.

Below are the best ways to treat functional incontinence.

Behavioral Techniques

Depending on the severity, type or underlying cause of incontinence, your doctor may recommend these treatments first to help strengthen and train your pelvic floor and bladder.

  • Bladder Training: It is possible to train the bladder to hold out for longer and longer periods between bathroom visits. You may begin bladder training by holding off for 10 minutes once you have the urge to urinate and then slowly increase the amount of time until you are going every two to four hours.
  • Fluid Management: Having a reasonable fluid intake, drinking less, avoiding coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas and alcohol.
  • Double Voiding: Urinating twice – once you urinate you wait a few minutes and urinate again to release any residual urine.

Scheduled Trips to the Restroom: Urinating every two to four hours instead of waiting for the urge to go to the bathroom.

Absorbent Pads & Catheters

Absorbent products may be used to manage any form of incontinence. However, incontinence products are NOT a TREATMENT for incontinence; for some individuals, urinary incontinence products are a temporary strategy until they address and resolve the underlying cause of their incontinence. Most people find the use of pads, diapers and bladder supports to be extremely inconvenient, expensive and impacts their quality of life.

Absorbent products

According to WebMD, absorbent products, such as adult diapers, plastic-coated underwear, pads or panty liners that attach to underwear can be used if:

  • Your incontinence is not a significant disruption in your life
  • You are waiting for another treatment for incontinence to take effect
  • Your incontinence cannot be treated by other means
  • You prefer to use absorbent products rather than medicines or surgery

Absorbent products are an effective way to relieve the embarrassment and discomfort of urine leakage.

Risks when using absorbent products include irritation around the groin area and an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

Product options include:

  • Depends® Adult Underwear
  • Tena Serenity®
  • Poise® Pads
  • Always Discreet®