Haven’t you sometimes felt a slight leakage of urine when laughing or sneezing, or failed to get to the toilet on time? When this happens, inconvenience, probably even embarrassment, is what comes to your mind first. Raising awareness and understanding what (in)continence means is probably the heart of the challenge. We should find a way to manage incontinence that allows everyone to live a happy and productive life.
Problems with bladder or bowel dysfunction are often called continence problems. The word ‘incontinence’ is often associated with a stigma of being ‘smelly’: most men and women are too embarrassed to talk about it. And embarrassment is also what people stop from seeking help from a professional health professional.
No need to be ashamed
There is no need to be ashamed, as incontinence is a very common problem that can be treated.
More than 5 million Australians suffer from some form of incontinence, making it one of the leading health challenges faced by our nation. Although the disorder is more common with age, young people have it too.
Continence vs incontinence
Continence refers to the ability to control bladder and bowel function, while incontinence is a condition in which there is a loss of this control. It can refer to the loss of bowel function or the loss of bladder or urinary function.
The bowel and urinary systems are complex, requiring the cohesive function of multiple organs and muscular systems to ensure complete continence. A weakness, a malfunction, or an injury to any of these systems results in uncomfortable and challenging incontinence.
What causes continence problems?
Since there are so many intricate systems that can form the root origin of the incontinence. Some of the organs and muscular systems that might affect your ability to control your urinary and bowel function include the bladder, pelvic floor muscles, the urinary tract and system, and the bowel system. What can trigger incontinence issues? Many ordinary changes in life can cause this issue. It’s incredibly common, and there’s no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Incontinence can occur:
● During pregnancy and childbirth
● During menopause
● Due to chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, arthritis or dementia
● As a result of disabilities such as paraplegia or cerebral palsy
Am I incontinent?
Incontinence isn’t as simple as losing bladder and bowel control. The symptoms can be elusive and difficult to pinpoint as incontinence. Are you experiencing the following bladder related continence problems?
● Leaking urine with coughs, sneezes or during exercise
● Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
● Getting up twice or more at night to go to the toilet or wetting the bed when asleep
● Going to the toilet frequently
● Having poor urine flow
● Straining to get the bladder to empty
● Rushing to the toilet (urgency)
● Feeling as if their bladder is not completely empty
● Leaking from the bowel on passing wind
● Being unable to control wind
● Straining to empty their bowels
● Leaking from the bowel with the urge to open their bowels
Is incontinence different in women or men?
What women experience as incontinence can vary from the experience men have. It is important to note the differences so that you can correctly identify your symptoms and seek medical assistance. Here are the symptoms typically experienced by men and women:
Female incontinence - Nerve damage and weakened pelvic floor muscles can be a major factor in the risks associated with incontinence. Due to the intricate system of muscles in ligaments in a woman’s pelvic floor (which enables her body to stretch in order to facilitate the birthing process), females are at higher risk of developing incontinence. As a woman, your pelvic floor is easily damaged or weakened as a result of birthing large babies, birthing many babies, and having difficult labour.
Male incontinence - The risk factor for developing incontinence as a man will only increase much later in life than it does for women. The risk factors for developing male incontinence include conditions such as an enlarged prostate and benign prostate hyperplasia, which is referred to as BPH. Incontinence happens when there’s pressure on the urethra, causing urinal leakage, as well as a sense of urgency and frequency. Men can also experience hesitancy or straining.
Suffering from incontinence? You are not alone
If you battle with incontinence, you might feel ashamed and wish to hide it. It’s understandable. Seeking help can be difficult, and it takes a great deal of courage. Keep in mind you are not alone. This condition is common among men and women across the globe. 400 million people around the world battle with incontinence. That equates to 1 in every 10 men and 25% of women.
Living with incontinence can be incredibly challenging, and those affected by it often find themselves limiting their outings, their time outside of the home, and reducing their quality of life in order to live around their condition.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a continence group online. There are many ways to treat this problem, and many wonderful incontinence aids that can give you back a great deal of your quality of life.
How can I stop leaks?
There are many ways to regain control over your bladder and bowel functions. The best treatment for you would depend on your area of weakness. In the case of women that have suffered damage as a result of childbirth, performing exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor will heal the symptoms of incontinence. Some of the other treatments that are available and proven effective include;
● Training your pelvic floor
● Losing weight
● Adapting your diet
● Reducing your coffee intake
Is there financial assistance?
Yes, the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) makes provision for those impacted by incontinence who require living aids and supplies in order to cope. These supplies make it easier to treat and deal with the symptoms while they persist. As a registered NDIS provider, Bettercaremarket can help you find the right continence solution. We can help you with a range of continence aids, such as incontinence underwear, bed pads and skincare products. Just go to our NDIS information page.
Another option is Continence Aids Payment Scheme or CAPS. It is an Australian Government Payment Program that can assist eligible people who have permanent or severe incontinence to help ease the financial burden of your continence products. Molicare products can be purchased under CAPS. For more information regarding how to apply for CAPS, visit our CAPS page on the website.
What incontinence products do I need?
One of the most important considerations is which incontinence products to buy. If you are not sure how to manage incontinence correctly, visit the National Continence Helpline. They can provide you with all the right product information to meet your needs.
Advances in technology and manufacturing processes have helped to innovate the continence industry in many ways, from better absorbency and odour control in wearable protection pads or underwear to skin care products with antimicrobial properties.
At Bettercaremarket, we have a range of continence products that can meet your needs and lifestyle in terms of absorbency and mobility. As everyone’s needs are different, we would recommend trying to find the right continence product suitable for you. Try f.i. a pull up pants at home, just ask us for a sample. Having the right product provides you with the peace of mind to get on with your life. Here, at Bettercaremarket, we have a range of convenient continence solutions that are delivered directly to your home in a discreet way:
Molicare Premium Mobile Pull up Pants are designed for moderate to heavy incontinence, depending on your needs. This disposable incontinence underwear offers a great absorption capacity, and is specially configured to catch and retain urinary and faecal leakage. They offer maximum protection you can rely on. The pull-up style pants are suitable for users who are more mobile and active. This design looks and feels like regular underwear, and is comfortable with excellent moisture-wicking abilities to keep urine away from the skin. They are available in 2 absorbency levels: the 6 drops and the 8 drops
Specialised skin care products by Molicare: Barrier creams, body lotion, cleaning foams and cleaning wipes. These are specially formulated cleaning and deodorising products for both urinary and faecal incontinence. The disinfectant lotions and foams use ingredients to inhibit harmful microbes and get rid of embarrassing odours. A barrier cream serves to protect the body to help maintain the skin’s physical barrier. It protects the skin from irritants and prevents it from drying out.
We have 4 skin care products from Molicare:
Molicare Skin Barrier Cream forms a protective coating that seals off the skin from contact with urine, faeces or moisture. It is used to help prevent dermatitis or ‘diaper’s rash’. This barrier cream provides relief to irritated or sensitive skin
The Molicare Moist Skin Care Tissues are alcohol-free, latex-free, and rinse-free larger disposable moisture wipes that come in a pack of 50. They are specially designed to be gentle on the most sensitive areas of the skin. They are the perfect size for effectively cleaning large areas of your skin comfortably.
|Adult Diapers from Aidapt are winged incontinence underwear with tape tabs that offer bladder protection to disabled or bed-ridden individuals. They are geared for moderate to heavy incontinence. His kind of absorbent incontinence brief allows the carer to easily changed the soiled diaper while the patient is lying down. They provide 1900 to 2100 ml of reliable, leak-proof fluid retention. Their antibacterial material maximises odour neutralisation.|
|Washable Bed pads – also known as underpads - provide very good protection for your furniture or mattress against incontinence accidents. These soft, thin sheets lie flat on top of your sheet and are designed to absorb … of liquid. The backing is non-slip, so you can be sure that the pad is going to stay in position all night. The great advantage is they are conveniently reusable as they can be machine washed. Their absorbency and durability make them a very convenient incontinence product to keep on hand.|
|Disposable bed pads are easy and efficient underpads that will help to save on laundry costs. The disposable bed pads are a must-have in your collection of incontinence aids. They can be used to absorb leakage from urinal or faecal incontinence accidents. They will protect your mattress and prevent stains. You can also use them on sofas or couches. They are able to draw moisture away from the skin to protect you from rashes and skin breakdown.|
|Chair protection pads is an absorbent mat that can be placed in convenient places around the home to combat incontinence during times of inactivity. The chair pad will protect your furniture from accidental leakage. They are waterproof, hypoallergenic and odour resistant.|
|Urinals are typically for people who are immobile or bedridden. They are available with or without a lid, and in men or female option.|
If you haven't found what you're looking for here, we would recommend taking a look at our blog '5 Reasons why incontinence pants give you a sense of security'. This article will help you choose the most appropriate incontinence product.
Incontinence or the lack of continence can have serious implications to your confidence and ability to go about your aids for daily living. Don't let your bladder leaks get in the way of enjoying your life. With so many continence care products and treatment available, there is no reason to let incontinence slow you down. Open up to your GP and talk to a friend or family member. You will see you are not alone to battle the disorder.