New study shows millions suffering with incontinence in silence

Incontinence doesn’t have to be an embarrassing part of getting older that you hide from the world, however in fact

Incontinence doesn’t have to be an embarrassing part of getting older that you hide from the world, however in fact that is exactly how millions of people around the world are feeling about this common age-related health issue.

Around 4.8 million Australians experience bladder or bowel control problems, and urinary incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men and up to 37% of Australian women, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A new report published by NHS England has revealed many people are not getting the support they need to deal with the embarrassment of incontinence, and are suffering in silence.

It has called for better training for all staff and patients need to be given more information about treatment and support, reports the BBC.

Lifestyle changes or exercises can help, while medication and surgery are options for some patients, said NHS England.

They’re calling for continence care to be joined-up across health, care and education services so people do not have to repeat their issues to multiple practitioners.

Sara Elliott, of NHS England, said: “Millions of people are affected by continence problems, but it is an issue that they are still too embarrassed to talk about.

“This means that too many people are suffering in silence and not receiving the care and support they need”.

In Australia, the Continence Foundation operates a forum for people to talk anonymously and openly about the issues of bladder and bowel health. Their website states, “This is an opportunity to ask your questions in a safe environment and share your story – we’d love to hear from you!”.

There is also a National Continence Helpline where you can ask about continence products, federal and state government subsidy schemes and printed information resources about incontinence that they can post you. The Helpline can also give you information about your local continence service or clinic.

You can phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066.

Tell us, do you think that there needs to be more support for people suffering from incontinence issues?

  1. As a patient with anS.P.C,once fitted get on with it,no checkup from urinary clinic just 6 weekly visits from nurse to change it,how do they know if I’m ok?

  2. So embarrassing tablets were working but not on pbs so I had to stop them as I cant afford them

    • I think you need to talk to your GP. There are other medications that help that are on the PBS.

    • Gladys, get referred to a physio who specialises in pelvic floor rather than take medication. The excercises take a little while before you see any difference, but they work.

    • Jeanette, it depends on the cause. If a weak pelvic floor is the problem physio will help but a neurogenic bladder will only be helped with medication.

  3. I first knew about this 40yrs ago when an aunt was visiting….she got the giggles when we were riding camels in the desert…..u know the rest….but way back then the operation to fix this was really major…she went thru hell afterwards retraining her system to work properly…..thank god for modernisation if this ever comes my way…..I worked medically with men who needed help in this way also

  4. For bladder incontinence do pelvic floor exercises. It cured me.

    • Yes. I remember after having my children we were supposed to do them, but never did. It takes a while but works. I do mine each night while waiting for the dogs to do their business outside before they go to bed 🙂

    • Christa Caldecott Stand with your knees bent and slightly apart (about 1 foot or what is comfortable for you). Pull the muscles down in your pelvic area up towards your naval as high as you can. You will manage to pull higher as you improve. Do this as many times as you want. Probably best to not overdo it at first. It took about 3 months to work for me and I was doing them 3 times a week at aerobics. Our instructor called them Elvises. It did look funny. I put my hands on my hips because that is what our instructor told us to do for stability. Good luck.

    • Yes, the pelvic floor exercises work, as with many women I was just too sore and tired to do them after having the kids and ended up having to get uo to pee 2-3 times a night but when I started going to the gym I also started doing the pelvic floor exercises too and have fixed the problem, it didn’t even take long, only a few weeks and that was years ago now. Still do them when I think of it.

  5. I had a phone call from my daughter when she was in continent. I said it was great she was seeing so much of the world.

  6. I spoke with my doctor and I have Urge incontinence. I am now on the most marvellous patches which have freed me of embarrassment.

  7. Get it checked out by a urologist, I was having trouble a few years ago and tried exercise, pelvic floor chair, tablets etc etc but once I got checked out properly I had a small prolapse and had a sling put in. It has been awesome!!! I don’t even think about it 6 years later and I can’t believe I used to have to wear thick Poise all day and night back then. Best thing I did ever after 4 children lool

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