Incontinence around the world
Almost 80% of incontinence cases can be treated. Some sufferers are too embarrassed to seek treatment but, did you know that, over 200 million people around the world suffer some form of incontinence?
Coping with incontinence
Generally, the type of incontinence (stress, overflow or urge) will dictate what kind of incontinence treatment you need. Remember, the first step is always to consult a healthcare professional who will work with you to diagnose and offer treatment options.
- Bladder Leakage – A weak bladder can result in incontinence but there are a number of treatments to help control the condition.
- Pelvic Floor Exercise – Your pelvic floor muscles hold your bladder, uterus and bowel in place. Exercises can keep the muscles strong for better bladder and bowel control.
- Urodynamics – Series of tests to evaluate your bladder, sphincter and urethra, including how they store and release urine.
- Medication – The most widely used options work by suppressing bladder contractions and delaying the urge to urinate.
- Incontinency surgery - Although it can be more invasive and has a higher risk of complications than other therapies, urinary incontinence surgery can provide a long-term solution for severe cases.
- Tension-free vaginal tape - A surgical procedure to help control stress incontinence. The surgery closes your urethra and bladder neck to prevent further leakage
When treating incontinence it can be best to start with simple behaviour changes. These can make a big, positive change to your incontinence without you needing to turn your life upside-down.
There are certain things you can change in your everyday routine to reduce your incontinence, including:
- Cutting down on coffee, tea, chocolates, soft drinks and alcohol
- Include plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and fibre in your diet
- Drink about 2 litres of water a day (although try to cut down as bedtime approaches)
- Maintain a healthy BMI
- Bladder training is when you delay going to the bathroom after feeling the urge to urinate. For example, at the start of training try to delay going to the bathroom by 10 minutes every time you feel the urge. The next day, delay the visit to the toilet by 15 minutes and so on and so on. Most health resources recommend visiting the bathroom about every 2-4 hours.
- Scheduled bathroom trips is when you go to the toilet at specific times and according to a schedule, as opposed to when the urge strikes you. It’s normally about every 2 hours or so but chat with your doctor to work out a routine that is best for you.
- Incontinence aids or products can help you manage. These reduce the impact of your condition, allowing you to enjoy life and live it the way you want.
Incontinence aids usually come in the form of super absorbent undergarments, pants or guards, which lock in any moisture and turn it into gel to prevent leaking or dampness. They also help prevent odour. Depend® has a great range of products for men and women, use our product selector to find out what is best for you or order a free sample today.