Urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the leaking of urine from the bladder and can affect both men and women of all ages. Urinary incontinence is not a disease, but occurs usually as a symptom of another medical condition.

About Urinary Incontinence

Over 4.8 million Australians experience some form of Urinary Incontinence. In fact, it affects up to 13% of men and up to 37% of women. Urinary Incontinence is not a part of growing old, nor does it need to be a long-term consequence of having children — it is both treatable and manageable.

If your Urinary Incontinence is not too severe, it can be easily managed with incontinence products like Depend. That said, if you’re experiencing secondary symptoms (like blood in your urine) or if your incontinence begins to affect your social life or everyday activities, see your GP or a Urologist.

The right information for you

Urinary Incontinence affects both men and women, but the underlying causes are quite different. Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause all take their toll on a woman’s bladder and urinary tract, while for men, prostate problems or any number of other underlying medical conditions could be the cause.


More About Incontinence

If you have Urinary Incontinence, you’re just one of millions of Australians who have the condition. While some people find it distressing, it’s something that’s easily managed with the right advice and information. The section below explains the different types of Urinary Incontinence, plus the causes, risk factors and treatments.

Urinary incontinence risk factors

There are certain risk factors that may increase your chances of suffering from urinary incontinence.

Some of these factors are:

  • Obesity: Many studies have linked obesity to an increase of urinary incontinence. The extra weight puts additional pressure on the bladder and can cause leakages.
  • Smoking: Smoking indirectly increases the chances of incontinence because smokers often have a chronic cough that can put pressure on the bladder.
  • Pregnancy and life changes: As many women experience pregnancy, childbirth and menopause, they tend to suffer from urinary incontinence more than men.
  • Ageing: People in the latter stages of their life are more likely to suffer from urinary incontinence. This is because the urethra and bladder lose muscle elasticity with age.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol can cause the muscles around the bladder to relax and a bladder leakage is more likely when this happens.

Correct diagnosis can be difficult when it comes to urinary incontinence. To help with diagnosis, a person who is having bladder difficulties may be asked to keep a bladder diary detailing how much fluid they consume, how often they go to the toilet and how many times they suffer from bladder loss during a specific period. An ultrasound or physical exam may also be performed where the doctor may check the strength of a women’s pelvic floor muscle or whether a man’s prostate is enlarged.

Living with urinary incontinence

The first thing you should know is that every type of urinary incontinence (including Urge, Stress and Overflow) is manageable. It is also very common, with about 4% of all adults and 25% of all women over 40 having suffered from some kind of incontinence. Keeping this in mind, incontinence is something that you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about.

If you have a fairly mild case of incontinence, it is pretty simple to manage the syndrome without any outside help. The trick is to be prepared. You will probably need to carry incontinence products, usually in the form of absorbent guards or underwear specifically designed for urinary incontinence (Depend has a wide variety of great incontinence products that you may like to take a look at). It is also a good idea to keep a change of clothes and underwear handy in case there is a mishap. Finally, performing pelvic floor exercises as part of a regular exercise routine might also help lessen the severity of your incontinence and improve the reliability of your bladder. Speak to your doctor about finding a routine that is right for you.

Urinary Incontinence for Caregivers

If you’re a caregiver, you already know how demanding the job is. But a loved one who also suffers from incontinence presents a whole different set of challenges. This site provides an abundance of information designed to give you confidence in assisting someone with incontinence.

Learn More

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