Functional Incontinence: Timed Voiding and Prompted Voiding

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Topic Overview

Functional incontinence means that a person can't reach the bathroom in time to urinate because of physical or mental limitations. These may include problems with walking, conditions such as arthritis, or problems with reasoning (such as dementia). People who have functional incontinence can try to control it by using timed voiding and prompted voiding.

Timed voiding

Timed voiding is also called habit training. It sets a schedule for urinating (voiding) that is determined by your personal habits. It doesn't try to increase how long you can wait before you have to urinate. And it doesn't teach you to resist the urge to urinate.

Prompted voiding

With prompted voiding, a caregiver prompts you to urinate. The goal is to decrease the chance of accidents by making you aware of the need to urinate. It usually is used along with timed voiding for people who are unaware of their bodily functions, such as people who have dementia.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014