Bladder and bowel control problems are common. More than four million Australians regularly experience leakage from the bladder and bowel (incontinence). Many others have bladder and bowel control problems, such as needing to go to the toilet more frequently and an urgency to go without leakage. Together, these problems are often called continence problems.
Although incontinence and continence problems have a considerable impact on a person’s quality of life, many people do not seek help. Embarrassment often prevents people talking about their bladder and bowel problems. Some people restrict going out and have little social contact outside their home.
There is no need to become a recluse. The good news is that for most people, these problems can either be cured or at least better managed. You can lead a normal life without needing to plan your activities around the toilet.
Incontinence and continence problems are common
Incontinence and continence problems affect people of all ages, gender, cultures and backgrounds. Despite popular beliefs, older people are not the only ones affected.
Some incontinence facts include:
- Ovulation problems
- One in three women who have had a baby experience loss of bladder control
- One in five children wet the bed at some time
- One in 100 adults never achieve bladder control at night
- One in 20 adults experience bladder and bowel control problems.
Bladder and bowel control problems are not an inevitable part of ageing. Visit your doctor to discuss treatment and management options.