Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Women Veterans Health Care

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence, which is accidental leaks of urine, is a common, treatable condition.

There are several types of incontinence. Leakage that occurs with coughing, laughing, sneezing, or activity is known as stress incontinence. Urge incontinence is a frequent strong urge to urinate and leakage happens before getting to the bathroom. Overflow incontinence is frequent dribbling of urine because your bladder doesn't empty completely. Functional incontinence happens when something prevents you from making it to the toilet in time. For example, you may have arthritis and cannot unbutton your pants quickly. Some women may have more than one type of UI.

Up to 20 percent of women Veterans experience Urinary Incontinence, but many women delay or resist seeking treatment because they are embarrassed. Urinary Incontinence can be caused by medications, infections, pregnancy, illnesses, weak pelvic muscles, obesity, or simply drinking too much liquid.

Often simple lifestyle changes can help, such as:

  • Avoid drinking a lot before sleeping or at night
  • Limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink
  • Empty your bladder every 3-4 hours when you are awake and every 4-8 when you are sleeping
  • Avoid emptying your bladder "just in case"
  • Try exercises* to strengthen your pelvic muscles—check with your primary care provider to get instructions

What services does VA provide for urinary incontinence?

VA offers a number of services that can reduce urinary leakage. Your health care provider may suggest one or more of the following, depending on the cause of your UI.

  • Vaginal pessary, a small disc that when inserted can support your bladder muscles
  • Medications
  • Topical/vaginal estrogen treatment
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Botox® (or a generic brand) injections in the bladder
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Minimally invasive surgeries

How do I access services for urinary incontinence at VA?

Your first step is to discuss your UI with your primary health care provider. Your provider will talk with you, may suggest some tests to find the cause of your leakage, and will help you find the best treatment for you.

If you don't already use VA health care, you may want to use the following online tools:

Find out if you are eligible for VA health care

Enroll in VA health care if you haven't already

Find your local VA and make an appointment

Can I get disability compensation (monthly payments) or other benefits from VA related to urinary incontinence?

You may be eligible. Explore disability eligibility here. If you have questions, a Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) representative at your nearest regional office can explain more. Find your nearest regional office.

Where can I find more information, help, and resources on urinary incontinence?

Women Veterans Health Care Videos

Watch videos for and about Women Veterans.
Examples of Women's Health Outreach Posters

Women Veterans Health Care Outreach Posters

View our Outreach Posters.
Examples of Women's Health Outreach Posters
Women Veterans Call Center logo

The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to women's health

If you have questions or can't find what you're looking for, you can call, text, or chat online with the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC) at 855-829-6636 to get help and find available resources and services in your area. Trained women representatives can also:

  • Provide you with information on enrolling in VA health care if you have not already
  • Provide you with information on setting up a medical appointment in your area
  • Provide you with information about your eligibility (including questions about disability ratings) and other VA benefits like employment, education, and home loans
  • Connect you with your local VA Medical Center or local women's health contact who can assist in coordinating all the services you need

WVCC representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

* By clicking on these links, you will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs website.
† VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website.

The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA. The Women Veterans Call Center is your guide to VA.
We are open

Weekdays: 8:00 am–10:00 pm ET

Saturday: 8:00 am–6:30 pm ET