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In this exploratory and descriptive study, the self-management of urinary incontinence among women 31 to 50 years old is described. Eight self-selected women participated in unstructured tape-recorded interviews that were guided by an interest in understanding women's perceptions about their incontinence. Self-management comprised five specific methods: (a) modifying or avoiding the activities that cause involuntary leaking of urine, (b) keeping the bladder empty, (c) avoiding or limiting beverages that stimulate voiding, (d) wearing protective pads, and (e) doing exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Successful self-management was characterized by perceptions of control and normality; unsuccessful self-management by perceptions of noncontrol and abnormality and a consideration of medical management. Three types of medical encounters experienced by participants are described. The study indicates that participants responded differently to two temporal stages in their development of incontinence, and this difference affected how incontinence was managed at the time. The implications of this finding for nursing practice and nursing research are discussed.