Controlling incontinence: Simple solutions for untimely leaks

Jan 09, 2022
Incontinence affects more than five million Aussies. Source: Getty

Urinary incontinence is a common condition experienced by women and men across the world, ranging from the occasional light bladder leakage when you laugh, cough or sneeze, to a more serious inability to control your bladder.


According to Health Direct, more than 5 million Australians live with some form of incontinence that impacts their day-to-day lives. It affects children who experience bed wetting, right through to the elderly, who can’t hold on even when there’s a toilet close by. Unfortunately, the chances of living with incontinence increases as you age and your bladder loses its strength.

The condition is most common among women, with more than six in 10 experiencing the condition, compared with three in 10 men. For women, incontinence can occur after childbirth, while for men, incontinence can be caused by the prostate enlarging and pressing on the urethra. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, “this can cause an obstruction or blockage to the flow or urine that makes it difficult to completely empty the bladder”.

Incontinence is also commonly linked with other medical conditions and life changes, such as menopause, urinary tract infections, arthritis, diabetes and heart conditions — just to name a few. It’s also particularly common among the elderly, who may be living with other medical conditions that impair their ability to move with ease.

What, when and where?

Most often, people will experience symptoms such as feeling as though they have not completely emptied their bladder, needing to rush to the toilet, waking up twice or more during the night to pee, or leaking before they reach the toilet. And while this could just be mild, it can be quite severe — to the point where people don’t make it out of bed before having an accident.

This urge to urinate, or uncertainty about when the bladder might suddenly empty, is not only physically uncomfortable but can be mentally draining for the sufferer as well, with the fear of having an accident an ever-present concern.

How to address

Thankfully, some companies have created a range of products to support those living with incontinence. These items include pee-proof underwear, swimwear and a selection of bed protection items, to help with the discreet management of incontinence issues.

The undies (available for both men and women) are real winners. They’re designed to absorb and protect, are super comfortable and look just like regular underwear — so there’s no feeling like you’re wearing an adult nappy! For added protection, you can also find reusable women’s incontinence pads (much comfier than the disposable kinds).

Meanwhile, you can also make your home worry-free with washable bed and furniture protectors. They can help you say goodbye to daily cycles of wet, wash, dry and repeat with your sheets (because, let’s face it, no one likes having to make the bed over and over again!).

IMPORTANT INFO We write about products and services we think you might like and may receive payment if you click on the links in this article or go on to make a purchase. 
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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