World Continence Week: 19 – 25 June 2023

Continence is the ability to control your bladder and bowel. Incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder and bowel control. 1 in 4 Australians are incontinent.

Incontinence can range in severity from a small leak to complete loss of bladder or bowel control. Incontinence affects women, men and children of all ages, physical ability and background. There are however some health conditions and life events that can put you at an increased risk of developing either urinary or faecal incontinence

Risk factors commonly linked with urinary incontinence include:

  • pregnancy (both pre- and post-natal women)
  • younger women who have had children
  • menopause
  • obesity
  • urinary tract infections
  • constipation
  • specific types of surgery such as prostatectomy (removal of all or part of the prostate) and hysterectomy (removal of all or part of the uterus and/or ovaries)
  • reduced mobility preventing you from getting to or using the toilet
  • neurological and musculoskeletal conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis
  • health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart conditions, respiratory conditions, and prostate problems, and
  • some medications.

There is plenty that can be done to improve or in some cases cure incontinence. Changes such as adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle, incorporating regular exercise and practicing good toilet habits can all lead to improvements.

To read more, please visit Continence Foundation of Australia

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