World Continence Week 18-24th June 2018.
What is incontinence?
Incontinence is a term that describes any accidental or involuntary loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces or wind from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence).
Incontinence is a widespread condition that ranges in severity from ‘just a small leak’ to complete loss of bladder or bowel control. In fact, over 4.8 million Australians have bladder or bowel control problems for a variety of reasons. Incontinence can be treated and managed. In many cases it can also be cured.
Who is at risk?
Anyone at any age can develop some form of incontinence. Some health conditions and life events can put you at an increased risk of developing either urinary or faecal incontinence.
The risk factors most commonly linked with urinary incontinence include:
A risk factor for faecal incontinence is urinary incontinence. Other risk factors are similar to those of urinary incontinence, but also include:
If you experience bladder or bowel problems, but are not sure if you should seek help, try the questionnaire below.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions you may have a bladder or bowel control problem.
The first step is to talk to your Doctor or Nurse or contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66. The National Continence Helpline is staffed by a team of Continence Nurse Advisors who offer free information, advice and support and can provide you with a wide range of information resources and referrals to local services.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
One way of reducing symptoms of incontinence, and preventing some types of incontinence, is by doing ‘pelvic floor exercises’.
These exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a layer of muscles that help support the bladder & bowel, and the uterus in women. When this is weak, it can make you more prone to urine and faecal leaks.
Pelvic floor exercises are rather easy to follow and can be done at any time of the day. You can do them before you get out of bed, in the car, sitting at your desk, even in meetings! The list goes on. For a quick guide, visit http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au, for more great instructions and lots of interesting information.
For more information on World Continence Week, Prevention and ‘The Facts’, visit: https://www.continence.org.au