Nursing Management of Urinary Incontinence

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Pregnancy and childbirth lead to UI.
  • Urinary tract infections cause bladder irritation.
  • Problems that bring about prostate enlargement.
  • Age and gender aggravate UI danger.
  • Smoking and obesity increase UI risk.

Urinary incontinence is a prevalent disorder that interferes with urinal function, resulting in frequent urination and bladder control challenges. UI is caused by pregnancy, childbirth, urinary tract infections, and prostate problems. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the weight increase due to the fetus may lead to a UI type known as stress incontinence. During childbirth, muscles required for bladder control are weakened, resulting in damaged supportive bladder tissue and nerves. As a result, the pelvic floor drops or prolapses, leading to an increased risk of UI. Additionally, infections can lead to bladder irritation, causing a strong urge to urinate and, occasionally, incontinence. Women and aged people are likely to experience UI since aging, and female anatomy increases the risk of developing UI (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018). Furthermore, smoking and obesity increase the risk of developing UI.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Medical history and physical exam identify causes.
  • Lab tests identify infections in the bladder.
  • Urodynamic testing examines bladder effectiveness and function.
  • Lifestyle changes can reduce urination leaks.
  • Surgery is effective for removing urethra blockage.

Diagnosis and treatment of UI are essential to physicians since they help identify whether patients have the disorder. UI diagnosis is made through medical history, physical exam, lab tests, and urodynamic testing. The medical history of sick people helps a healthcare practitioner determine if a person needs additional testing. In contrast, physical exams enable doctors to identify potential problems that lead to urine loss. However, if the doctor is not satisfied with the evaluation, they may recommend lab tests and urodynamic testing. Lab tests may include urinalysis and blood tests to look for potential problems in the bladder. Urodynamic testing shows the effectiveness of the functioning of sphincters, urethra, and bladder. Regarding treatment, focusing on making changes in lifestyle and surgery is recommended (Sharma & Chakrabarti, 2018). Lifestyle changes may involve keeping a healthy weight and being physically active.

  • Increased bladder contractions that are involuntary.
  • Reduced mobility and problems in skin integrity.
  • Hardening of the blood wall’s elastic tissue.
  • Bowel changes happen as people age.
  • Weakening of bladder muscles and urethra blockage.

Aging is a significant factor that increases the risk of developing UI. Several physiological elements of aging lead to bowel and bladder changes that are associated with UI. The changes in the bladder include weakened bladder muscles and toughening of the bladder wall’s elastic tissue, which makes a person unable to hold much urine. In addition, the urethral blockage caused by enlargement of the prostate gland in men and prolapse in women occurs as people continue to age. Bowel changes such as stool softening and sphincter weakness happen in old age. Such changes can make an older adult live a reduced quality of life (Batmani et al., 2021). Additionally, continence problems like reduced mobility occur, causing old persons to fall or their skin integrity reduces due to constant exposure to feces and urine.

Nursing Management

  • Habit training leads to established urination intervals.
  • Prompted voiding enhances the dryness of patients.
  • Bladder training increases intervals of urination.
  • Scheduled toileting reduces the urge for urination.
  • Exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor muscle.

Nursing management of UI can be difficult as nurses may fail to handle UI patients effectively. The first intervention, scheduled toileting, involves motivating a patient to resist the urge to voiding, which helps to enhance continence by preventing reflex void urges. Habit training entails matching the schedule of toileting to a patient’s habits. As a result, patterns, volume, and frequency of incontinence and continence are changed, creating an established pattern. Prompted voiding improves patients’ dryness, while bladder training increases the times between urination by providing large voiding volume and reducing stress (Shaw & Wagg, 2017). Exercises for the pelvic floor muscle increase the strength of the pelvic floor and periurethral muscles, reducing UI (Sung et al., 2019).


Batmani, S., Jalali, R., Mohammadi, M., & Bokaee, S. (2021). Prevalence and factors related to urinary incontinence in older adults women worldwide: A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. BMC Geriatrics, 21(1), 1-17. Web.

Sharma, N., & Chakrabarti, S. (2018). Clinical evaluation of urinary incontinence. Journal of Mid-life Health, 9(2), 55. Web.

Shaw, C., & Wagg, A. (2017). Urinary incontinence in older adults. Medicine, 45(1), 23-27. Web.

Sung, V. W., Borello-France, D., Newman, D. K., Richter, H. E., Lukacz, E. S., Moalli, P., Weidner, A. C., Smith, A. L., Dunivan, G., Ridgeway, B., Nguyen, J. N., Mazloomdoost, D., Carper, B., & Gantz, M. G. (2019). Effect of behavioral and pelvic floor muscle therapy combined with surgery vs surgery alone on incontinence symptoms among women with mixed urinary incontinence: The ESTEEM randomized clinical trial. Jama, 322(11), 1066-1076. Web.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018). Symptoms & causes of bladder control problems (urinary incontinence). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Web.

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NursingBird. "Nursing Management of Urinary Incontinence." August 7, 2022.