Incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of getting old, having had children, or a disability! Some people may even experience incontinent episodes for no apparent reason. It is important whatever your situation may be that you seek professional help. The good news is that a lot can be done to manage, improve and often cure these difficulties.
It is estimated that over 1 in 20 women aged between 15 and 44 years and up to 1 in 7 women aged between 45 and 64 experience bladder problems. Over 1 in 33 men of working age have bladder problems and approximately 1% of the adult population have bowel problems (source 'All in a day's work - Managing bladder and bowel problems at work' leaflet - www.promocon.co.uk
Incontinence has been defined as the unintentional loss of urine. This can range from light, occasional dribbles to more frequent, heavy leakage. The control over bladder voiding is disturbed through some cause or another. It is essential that medical advice is taken to determine the underlying reasons for incontinence. This is not the time for self diagnosis!
Apart from urinary incontinence, there is also bowel incontinence, which is not covered here. For more information follow the bowel incontinence Link to self help groups and related organisations.
Unfortunately, incontinence is one of the last great taboos and the embarrassment associated with the condition often means people do not seek help from their family doctor.
However, help is not far away.
Every health authority or NHS Trust in the UK has a specialist team of people who make up the local Continence Advisory Service. You do not need to be referred by your doctor.You can contact a specialist Continence Advisor directly in strict confidence for an appointment. Contact the Bladder and Bowel Foundation
for up to date information and products. For details of your nearest Continence Support Clinic by postcode/address follow this link for UK Continence Advisors
. If you have a disability such as Multiple Sclerosis
,or a Spinal problem
from injury or other causes, such as Spina Bifida
,or Cerebal Palsy
follow the links on this site. Many of the associations and organisations have Forums where you can read about other peoples experiences and solutions - a great way of helping you understand that you are not alone and people have been through the same problems and managed to sort them out and get on with living their lives!