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Your Guide To Manage Overflow Incontinence

Your Guide To Manage Overflow Incontinence
Shweta Chaubey

Key Takeaways:

  • Overflow incontinence is a condition in which urine leaks constantly or slowly due to a full bladder that cannot be emptied. It is more common in men with enlarged prostates as compared to stress or urge incontinence.
  • Lifestyle changes such as maintaining regular bowel movements, quitting smoking, avoiding bladder irritants, and managing weight can help in controlling this condition. Incontinence supplies, such as absorbent pads and undergarments, can also provide discreet protection.
  • Bladder training and Kegel exercises are some of the ways to improve bladder control. Moreover, medications may be prescribed depending on the cause of incontinence.
  • If you experience sudden urine loss, other neurological symptoms, or cloudy/bloody urine, it is essential to consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
  • HPFY offers a variety of medical supplies to manage overflow and other types of incontinence.


Incontinence is a challenging condition to handle and cure. Although some of its most common types are frequently discussed, overflow incontinence is a topic that receives less attention. Managing overflow incontinence requires altering one's lifestyle and using appropriate incontinence products to manage the condition effectively.

What is Overflow Incontinence?

Overflow incontinence is one of the many types of urinary incontinence that causes urine leakage due to the bladder's inability to empty. It happens when the bladder becomes too full and goes beyond its normal capacity, resulting in leakage. Unlike other forms of incontinence, such as stress or urge incontinence, which cause a sudden and strong urge to urinate, overflow incontinence usually involves a continual dribbling or slow leakage of urine.


Overflow incontinence is more common in men than in women. It occurs when the bladder doesn't empty, and urine leaks out. This can happen because of an enlarged prostate, which is more common in older men. Other possible causes include -

  • Urinary retention
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Structural damage
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications, such as diuretics
  • Nerve damage

How to manage overflow incontinence?

If you are experiencing symptoms of incontinence, it is highly recommended that you seek an evaluation, tests, and a treatment plan from a healthcare professional. The treatment you receive largely depends on the cause and type of incontinence you have. There are various approaches to treating urinary incontinence, including lifestyle changes. These changes may be done in conjunction with other treatments and can help improve incontinence. 

1. Lifestyle changes

  • It is crucial to maintain regular bowel movements to avoid constipation. Fiber helps soften the stools by absorbing water, which can help relieve constipation.
  • Smoking can also lead to bladder irritation and is known to increase your risk for bladder cancer. Hence, many doctors prescribe quitting smoking altogether to manage overflow incontinence.
  • Coffee and alcohol can irritate the bladder; consider avoiding or cutting down on them.
  • If you are overweight, losing weight is a good idea.
  • Avoid consuming foods and drinks that may irritate your bladder. These include spicy foods, carbonated beverages, and citrus fruits and juices.
  • If you have diabetes, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels under good control.

2. Use of incontinence supplies

For individuals experiencing urine leaks, discreet absorbent pads or undergarments are available. These products, such as adult diapers and underpads, can prevent the soiling of clothes and linen, particularly during the night. They can help individuals maintain an active social life despite their condition. High-quality incontinence briefs and pads can keep the skin soft and supple and prevent instances of diaper rash.

3. Bladder and Pelvic Floor Training

Bladder training makes bladder muscles stronger and improves bladder control. Similarly, Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. Your doctor or therapist can demonstrate how to perform these exercises properly. It's essential to perform these exercises accurately, even if you think you're doing them correctly. Often, formal bladder strengthening and retraining with a pelvic floor specialist can benefit those who need additional assistance.

4. Medications

Your doctor may prescribe medications depending on the type of incontinence you have. These medications can help prevent bladder muscle spasms, relax the bladder, and improve bladder function. Your provider can assist you in learning how to take these medicines effectively and manage any potential side effects.

5. Surgery

In case other treatments fail to treat your incontinence or if you suffer from severe incontinence, your healthcare provider may suggest surgery. The type of surgery varies based on the type of incontinence you have, the severity of the symptoms, and the underlying causes.

6. Catheterization

If you are experiencing overflow incontinence or are unable to empty your bladder, using a urinary catheter may be necessary. Depending on your situation, you may require a catheter that is left in place for an extended period or one that you are taught to insert and remove on your own.

7. Electrotherapy

Urge incontinence and urinary frequency can be treated by electrotherapy. This technique involves using pulses of electricity to reprogram bladder reflexes. There are two methods of doing this. One method involves inserting a stimulator through the skin near a nerve in the leg. It is done weekly in the provider's office. The other method involves implanting a battery-operated device, like a pacemaker, under the lower back skin.

8. Botox Injections

Urge incontinence can be treated with an injection of onabotulinum A toxin, commonly known as Botox. This injection can relax the bladder muscle and increase its storage capacity. The procedure involves an injection through a thin tube with a camera on the end, also called a cystoscope. In most cases, this procedure can be done in the provider's office.

How Common is Overflow Incontinence?

Overflow incontinence is a comparatively rare form of urinary incontinence. The Cleveland Clinic article on the same subject mentions that as many as 1 in 3 Americans have some type of incontinence that causes them to leak urine uncontrollably. The prevalence of this condition is higher in older individuals, with an average age of onset around 60 years. While women are more likely to experience incontinence generally, overflow incontinence is more common in men, often due to an enlarged prostate that obstructs the bladder. However, other factors can lead to this type of incontinence as well.

When to seek a doctor’s help? 

It is recommended to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing incontinence. Gynecologists and urologists who specialize in this problem can help identify the cause and suggest treatments. If you suddenly lose control over urine and have trouble in

  • talking
  • walking
  • loss of vision
  • sudden weakness
  • loss of bowel control
  • loss of consciousness or confusion
  • numbness or tingling in an arm or leg

Please call your local emergency number or go to an emergency room. In case you have cloudy or bloody urine, dribbling, frequent or urgent need to urinate, pain or burning when you urinate, trouble starting your urine flow, or fever, it is advised to get in touch with your medical team.

Where to buy products to help manage overflow incontinence?

HPFY has been online since 2002. We carry a wide range of medical supplies, including incontinence products to manage overflow and other types of continence. Explore our catalog today to find all that you need to manage your condition.




Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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