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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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TENS Machine for Incontinence: A Guide on How to Use the Unit

A woman sitting on a couch while touching her abdomen in pain

Urinary incontinence and faecal incontinence are two kinds of incontinence. Both types can be challenging to deal with. Many people feel limited in their daily activities and constantly worry about potential accidents. Fortunately, a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS machine for incontinence can help manage the condition. Use it by placing the adhesive electrode pads on clean and dry skin. Then, turn on the battery-powered device and adjust the settings of the electric current.

Healthcare professionals typically treat incontinence using various methods. Some examples are medication, pelvic floor exercises, and lifestyle changes. However, these options may not provide sufficient relief or may cause unwanted side effects for some individuals. Thus, having alternatives, such as TENS units, is beneficial. To learn more about the machine, the following sections will present what it is, how to use it effectively, and the safety guidelines to follow for optimal results.

What is a TENS Machine for Incontinence?

A TENS machine for incontinence is a medical device that produces mild electrical pulses to the nerves. Subsequently, it reduces the symptoms of the condition. People who experience bladder or bowel control issues utilise it as a non-invasive and drug-free treatment option. For a more comprehensive approach, they can use TENS alongside manual exercises and lifestyle modification to help strengthen the muscles and improve control.

The electrical currents from TENS can help calm overactive nerves and reduce the urge to urinate or defecate. It is a safe and effective treatment option. Many individuals find that using a TENS unit for incontinence management can significantly reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Nevertheless, it is necessary to consult a doctor before undergoing TENS.

People can select from different types of electrical stimulation devices. The most common are wired and wireless models. The former typically involves a small control unit connected to electrode pads via cables. On the other hand, the latter utilises Bluetooth technology to transmit the electrical impulses from the control unit to the electrode pads, eliminating the need for cords.

Causes and Symptoms of Incontinence


  • Bladder muscles may weaken due to aging or childbirth. Meanwhile, overactive bladder muscles may cause frequent urinary urgency.
  • Conditions like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can damage the nerves that control the bladder, leading to incontinence.
  • Infections in the urinary tract can irritate the bladder and cause the condition.


  • Involuntary leakage of urine or stool, which can range from a few drops to a complete emptying of the bladder.
  • The sudden and intense need to urinate. Consequently, this may result in leakage before reaching the restroom.
  • Urinating or passing stool more often than usual. This can disrupt daily activities and sleep.

A step-by-step process on how to operate the mobile app of iTENS

How to Use a TENS Machine for Incontinence

Using a TENS machine for incontinence is easy. Start by cleaning the skin and the unit to ensure proper hygiene and adhesion. Then, place the electrodes on the lower abdomen and or lower back. This will depend on the specific instructions from a healthcare professional or the user manual. Once everything is in place, turn the device on.

Users can modify the settings of TENS. They can adjust the intensity, frequency, and duration to find the most comfortable and effective pain management treatment. It is recommended to start with a low-intensity level and gradually increase it. People can use the control unit or the mobile app of wireless TENS machines.

The duration of TENS treatment should only last for 20-30 minutes. Afterwards, turn the device off and remove the patches from the skin. Administer TENS regularly as part of the pelvic floor muscle training routine. This may involve operating it for a few sessions each day. After each therapy session, store the unit in a dry place to ensure its longevity.

Pad Placement

When using an electrical stimulation device, always ensure proper pad placement. For treating stress incontinence, position the electrodes near the pelvic floor muscles. For urge incontinence, applying the pads near the bladder and urethra area is advisable. Moreover, attach them to the lower back for maximum effectiveness.

Refer to the instructions of the manual or a doctor regarding the correct placements to ensure effective treatment. Individuals can change the patterns of the placements to find what works best for them. Also, avoid areas with irritated skin because it can further aggravate the condition or infect the skin.

A TENS machine kit with two packs of gel pads and necessary information

Safety Guidelines When Using a TENS Machine for Incontinence

There are safety guidelines to follow when using a TENS machine for incontinence. Before using the electrical stimulation unit, thoroughly read the user manual and understand how to operate it properly. The manual typically contains essential information about the features and settings. Familiarising oneself with this information will ensure the effective use of TENS.

In addition, carefully place the electrodes on the skin in the designated areas. Moreover, avoid attaching them near the eyes, on the front of the neck, over the heart, or on the head. Always ensure the TENS machine is turned off before adjusting the electrode placement or removing them from the skin to prevent accidental shocks or discomfort.

Furthermore, monitoring the intensity level of the stimulation machine is vital. Never increase the settings to the point of pain. Always pay attention to any changes in sensation or skin reaction during use and discontinue use if there are any adverse effects. By following these safety guidelines, people can responsibly utilise a TENS device for incontinence management.

When to Seek Professional Help?

If individuals have not seen any improvement in their symptoms after using a TENS device consistently for a few weeks, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional. Additionally, if they are experiencing new or worsening symptoms, it is essential to seek medical advice promptly.

Before using TENS, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure it is a suitable treatment option for the specific condition. Additionally, people with underlying medical or pain conditions should ask for professional advice before TENS therapy. Professionals can ensure patients receive the most appropriate and safe treatment.


A TENS machine for incontinence is beneficial in helping overactive bladder and alleviating the symptoms. It uses mild electrical currents to the pelvic floor muscles. Consequently, TENS provides natural pain relief and improves the quality of life. Using the device involves placing electrodes on the skin and adjusting the settings to a comfortable level. Regular sessions of TENS therapy, combined with pelvic floor exercises, can contribute to significant improvements in managing incontinence.

Moreover, following safety guidelines is vital to avoid potential risks. This includes not using the electrical stimulation unit on specific body areas like the head. Additionally, it is necessary to monitor for any adverse effects and discontinue use if there is any discomfort or skin irritation. Overall, TENS offers a convenient and effective solution for individuals looking to regain control over their bladder function and achieve relief without needing drugs or intrusive procedures.

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