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Coping with Incontinence

Incontinence is one of those conditions that most people dread. Yet, it is a fairly common symptom that is experienced by millions of men and women of all ages.

Incontinence is not a disease. Its occurrence can be the result of several medical disorders. Many elderly people reach a stage when they are unable to control their bladders or bowel movements. It also tends to occur more frequently in women than men. This becomes a very sensitive issue that creates embarrassment, especially when they need to wear incontinence pads for the rest of their lives. However, many young and middle-aged adults are also prone to temporary incontinence.

Urinary problems occur when the pelvic floor muscles have become weak. These muscles support the bladder, rectum and uterus. In the case of women, these muscles can be damaged as a result of childbirth or they become weakened from chronic coughing, menopausal changes and even from being overweight, amongst others. The leakage of urine might happen during heavy coughing bouts and when sneezing or laughing.

Many women suffer from stress incontinence during pregnancy as a result of high pressure being placed on the bladder and extreme stretching of the muscles at the time of childbirth.

On the other hand, incontinence in men occurs after undergoing operations relating to the prostate and other organs. The good news is that incontinence is often only a temporary situation and can clear up after a few months.

Young adults are also prone to incontinence when they over indulge in alcohol or take some medications. These are usually short-term situations that disappear when the medication is stopped and alcohol use is reduced.

As with other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles must be exercised in order to strengthen them in the shortest possible time. These are known as Kegel exercises and they can be performed by men and women at any time of the day, without anyone being aware of what is happening. These exercises are also called pelvic floor contractions.

Try to imagine that you are attempting to stop yourself from urinating in midstream. However, it is necessary to do this without holding your breath, drawing in your tummy or tightening your buttocks. A physiotherapist will discuss these exercises in detail.

In addition, help is always at hand during permanent or temporary incontinence. Pharmacies and several chain stores stock nappies for adults. Many online websites that specialise in healthcare products are a convenient way to buy items, which are delivered under plain cover to your doorstep. The nappies are manufactured specifically for men or women and in an assortment of sizes.

In conclusion, remember that there is no shame in incontinence. The elderly thrive on their carers’ love and an understanding of their condition, whilst younger adults, depending on their medical situations and lifestyles, soon regain their ability to control their own bodily functions.


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