Treating Urinary Incontinence in Women without Surgery

By: Jane Chang, MPH, Joanna Siegel, ScD, and Kim Bailey, MS, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) | Posted on: 27 May 2020

Treating Urinary Incontinence in Women without Surgery

Millions of women have urinary incontinence (UI), or leaking urine. Treatments can help improve quality of life for women with UI. Yet many don't discuss UI with their doctors.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has created an Evidence Update to share research findings on treating UI without surgery. Treatments-such as Kegel exercises, bladder training, and medicine-can help improve symptoms for many women. Patients and their doctors can use this resource when they discuss treating UI.

The findings are from a 2018 update of a systematic review on treatments for UI that don't involve surgery. A systematic review combines the results of many studies. The research team looked at 233 studies with a total of about 14,000 women. PCORI and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality supported the systematic review.

If you think you may have UI, tell your doctor about your symptoms and how they affect your life. With this information, you and your doctor can create a plan that is right for you.

To learn more about how UI affects women and how treatments affect quality of life, listen to the Urology Care Podcast episode, "Urinary Incontinence with Dr. Gary Lemack." Dr. Lemack works at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

PCORI is an independent nonprofit organization that funds research. Their goal is to help patients, caregivers, and clinicians make better-informed health decisions. PCORI offers Evidence Updates on a number of topics.
Check out PCORI's resources on UI:

About the Authors

Jane Chang, MPH, is a program officer in PCORI's Dissemination and Implementation program, and Joanna Siegel, ScD is the program's director. Chang and Siegel oversee the development of Evidence Updates and targeted dissemination efforts. Kim Bailey, MS, is a senior program officer in PCORI's Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Sciences program. She was the lead program officer in the development of the UI systematic review update.

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