Lets talk about a difficult topic… incontinence 62



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Incontinence is not something widely discussed in conversation, and many people who suffer do not ask about it or get help. In fact, there is over 4.8 million people in Australia who are affected by incontinence and simply put up with it. The good news is with some careful planning and preparation, living with incontinence doesn’t need to be as frustrating as you think.

New research by Kimberly-Clark has identified that a staggering 27 per cent of Australians are doing nothing to manage their incontinence which is concerning. The fear of leaking or having an accident can have a huge emotional impact and can make people feel very isolated.

Concerns such as worrying about things like odour, feeling it to be an ‘old person’s problem and feeling unattractive to the opposite sex are all significant factors which can knock a person’s confidence.

In addition many people incorrectly wear female panty liners which are not specifically for urine loss to combat the condition and there are others who don’t use any products at all.

Wearing products which are designed specifically for high volume urine loss will immediately help to prevent odour providing one of many solutions to living with incontinence.


There are other ways to help assist the problem with incontinence which are:

Keep a healthy balance of fluids – it may come as a surprise that not drinking enough liquid can also lead to leakage and bladder health problems. If you don’t have enough fluids urine can become more concentrated and that can be irritating to the bladder and increase urgency. But remember you don’t want to drink too much liquid either. Try drinking the majority of your fluids during the earlier parts of the day and not so much at night.  It’s about striking the right balance.

Schedule bathroom trips – plan how regularly you need to go to the bathroom so you can be prepared with where your nearest toilet is located. If you’re visiting somewhere new find out if there is a directory or ask a staff member who can point out where the bathrooms are. You can also access the National toilet map on the internet at australia.gov.au/service/public-toilet-map

Pelvic floor exercises – These exercises both men and women can carry out. When done regularly it will strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and therefore help prevent urine leakage and the feeling of urgency that comes with incontinence

Maintain a healthy weight – Obesity and incontinence are often linked because more weight increases abdominal pressure, which can cause incontinence. Talk to your doctor about maintaining a healthy balanced diet.

Avoid being constipated- Chronic straining at stool and having hard faeces in your lower bowel makes your bladder more sensitive to smaller volumes of urine. Increasing your need to empty your bladder more frequently.

Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol – Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which can be irritating to the bladder. Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake may help reduce urge incontinence symptoms. If you can’t go without that morning coffee to kick start your day try slowly moving to decaf.

Wear the right product – as mentioned earlier many people wear the wrong products which can have a huge impact on your comfort and your confidence. DEPEND Real-Fit Underwear are specifically designed to fit and feel like real underwear and protect against heavy loss of bladder control.

Speak to your doctor or continence nurse – at your local area health service or hospital about options available to you. Alternatively, contact The Continence Foundation of Australia National Continence Helpline free call on 1800 33 00 66.


Kimberly-Clark have developed Depend® Real-Fit Underwear for men and women with incontinence. Real-Fit Underwear are specifically designed to fit and feel like real underwear and protect against heavy loss of bladder control. For more information about loss of bladder control or to ask an expert a question discreetly visit http://www.depend.com.au 


Note: This is a sponsored post. 

Joanne Lawrence

Joanne Lawrence has been providing support and advice to people who have bowel or bladder problems for nearly 20 years. Joanne holds an academic position at the Australian Catholic University where she teaches in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She is currently in the final stages of completing her PhD from the Faculty of Medicine, at Sydney University. Her study is the first one of its kind to explore how people with Parkinson's disease manage the very common problems of constipation and urinary frequency.

  1. This is such good, sensible advice. I particularly like the point about pelvic floor exercises – I have been stunned when talking to contemporaries about this topic that so many are unaware that pelvic floor exercises may help with controlling incontinence. Sopme women have even commented to me that they don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises because either they have sex and that means they don’t need to, or conversely they are ‘over all that’ and therefore don’t need to do pelvic floor exercises. PFE’s are not just for sexual toning, but tone the whole pelvic floor, help with bladder, vaginal and anal strength, and can assist with the symptoms of incontinence both anal and urinary. Ladies (and gents) please don’t neglect your pelvic floor – a strong is the basis of good pelvic and abdominal strength.

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