Incontinence caused by dehydration?

I’m posting this anonymously because it’s a very personal thing…

I have some mild urine retention at times, and if I’m fatigued, I have some bladder urgency. But a new thing which has happend a couple of times lately is incontinence. I was on a course of antibiotics, as it was thought it could be an infection, but it happened again right after I had finished the course. It seems to me that it happens when I have been drinking very little and when the weather is warm, and I have been stressed or doing more physical things. So I would tie it in with dehydration.

Has anyone else had similar experiences? I am just quite scared - I don’t want to end up with a catheter or something…

Hi. I can relate to some parts of your experience…I’ve suffered with urine infections continuously an also came to get diagonised because was admitted for urine retention so no how uncomfortable that can be but all I can say hun is that I use a catheter now and it’s the best thing I’ve done…once you get over the initial discomfort of having to do it ,it makes you feel so much more in control of your bladder as I no if I feel like I’m not passing urine I can us this and that way I won’t build up to much in my bladder as this causes infections. I can’t comment on the incontinence but just wanted to say that using a catheter isn’t the worse thing…and honestly I would never had believed I had to use one a few months ago…

Maby you should talk to your nurse as they should be able to advise you in these situations.

Hope u get others in a similar position

take care xx

Like Rose said, self catheterization is so beneficial. I too retain urine, especially if I have caffeine or other bladder irritants or I get constipated. It’s about as invasive as inserting tampons. Just had a thought, you may be male. If so please take my word, it’s a small single use pipe that you insert, empty then remove, yes, that easy. Imagine having the freedom to go out when you want with no worries and go to bed knowing you can sleep soundly with no fear of drowning. Please get referred to the continence team or urologist, my quality of life has improved and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s having difficulty.

Hi anon

Not drinking enough can irritate the bladder, potentially making incontinence more likely. So as counterintuitive as it sounds, you need to drink regularly to help lessen the likelihood of incontinence.

Just to add to what the others have said, using a catheter can be a real blessing. I resisted doing it as long as possible for the obvious reasons. However, eventually I needed to start doing it, and I wish I’d stared doing it sooner as it made such a big difference to my life. Knowing that I wouldn’t need the loo again for half the day gave me so much freedom. And I thought it would be painful too, but the thing that really surprised me the first time I did it was just how little I felt anything.

If you are a bloke though, another options is to use a sheath & leg bag. The sheath is like a condom with a hole in the end, which attaches to a small bag that you strap round your leg.

Hope that helps.


hi anon

i self cath too and my horror was soon replaced with relief.

dehydration gives me headaches and this is because our clever bodies need water and will take it from anywhere, sometimes from the brain.

drink plenty and stop worrying. if the incontinence gets worse see a bladder nurse.

as well as self cathing i now have patches to help with my overactive bladder

bladder nurses are fab!

carole x

Hi, I am sure that if you dont drink enough your urine gets too concentrated and utis are the result.

Even tho` I always drink pleanty of water, I had an ongoing infection for 5 months this year!

It caused chronic inflammation, retention, accidents and a horrible strong odour in my urine.

I have no mobility and cant weight bear, so now I have a suprapubic catheter fitted. This has improved my life enormously.

The continence service will be able to advise you, but get drinking gallons of adam`s ale, yeh?


Thank you so much for the reassuring answers! I didn’t think of mentioning that I am female - sorry! I have been particularly hot, stressed and tired out this summer, and have often drunk very little. I make sure I drink 8 glasses a day and - touch wood - it doesn’t happen then. Maybe I should work on my pelvic floor a bit too again…

Yes, do make sure you drink plenty of water - and try to cut out caffeine as it irritates the bladder and does not quench thirst.

l take D-Mannose to keep my urinary tract healthy - and l also drink apple cider vinegar - 1 tablespoon in a glass with a spoon of runny honey topped up with water. Not the nicest taste [but l have tasted white wine worse then this]- but apple cider vinegar is alkaline - and corrects the ‘PH’ in your kidneys/bladder - works well for me and also helps with my gout/arthritis. l have had a SPC for 18yrs because l lost all control of my bladder. Try to drink small amounts often - don’t suddenly overload your bladder with pints of water. Just dainty sips every few minutes if you can.

Hope things improve for you - keep yourself well hydrated - not just for your bladder but for your general well-being. We can’t function well without water.