Loss of bladder control can come about as a result of diabetes, the menopause, an enlarged prostate, lifestyle and also as a result of other illnesses and certain medications.
Urinary incontinence can cause great embarrassment and also lead to isolation, as the individual affected may find socialising somewhat challenging.
Urinary incontinence can be classified as stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow or total:-
Stress incontinence is when the pressure in the bladder becomes stronger than the strength of the urethra (the doorway to the bladder) to contain the urine content.
Urge incontinence is when the detrusor muscles in the bladder contract too often and create a need to quickly pass urine.
Overflow incontinence can be when the detrusor muscles don't contract fully and cause the bladder to stretch. This condition is often caused by an obstruction or a blockage, meaning that the bladder cannot completely empty itself and so frequent leaking becomes a possible factor.
Total incontinence means that the bladder cannot contain any urine and the individual passes a lot of urine, or has regular toilet seat riser visits and frequent leaks in between.
Risk factors to incontinence can include regular urinary tract infections (UTIs), age and family history.
There are several points that the individual can take into account, to lessen the development of leaking:-
Keeping dry means protecting one's skin and keeping clothes, chairs, beds and bed linen free from dampness, odour, stains and discolouration.
Finding the most comfortable incontinence control during the day helps keep life how it is meant to be.
The most comfortable way of keeping dry during the night will aid restful sleep and make for a more positive day.
There are a lot of products available for people who wish to control their bladder upset and get on with quality, daily life:-
Like babies' nappies, pads and pull-up pants include a hydrophobic layer which, by drawing the liquid away from the top layer of the product, keeps the user's skin dry. This will contribute to preventing infection and lessening the development of sores.
Pull up pants have a breathable back sheet which supports a flow of air and keeps skin fresher. Easy to use, these pants help the skin remain unbroken from dampness or infection.
Pads and pull up pants come in a range of absorbency levels, from small leaks to more intense incontinence.
Incontinence pads are more bulky and are used by people with more severe incontinence problems.
An incontinence pad can hold up to two or three times the volume of urine excreted from one full emptied bladder.
One thousand mls. (1 2/3 pints) of urine weighs similar to a bag of sugar. Regular changing is therefore recommended, as a heavy incontinence pad will prove very uncomfortable.
Incontinence pads and pants are in both male and female designs, to allow for a better fit.
Sanitary pads are not recommended as a cheaper option, as they tend to remain wet and can cause sores to the skin.
Incontinence chair pads help keep chair seats dry and clean and are easily washable. Always buy several chair pads, so that more than one chair is protected at all times, allowing the person with the bladder upset to move freely from one chair or room to another.
Incontinence chair pads can also be used in the car, to protect the seat from dampness, odour and staining, keeping travelling by car firmly on the list of one's pleasures.
Having to change a wet bed during the night is an experience to be avoided, due to disturbed sleep, cleaning and the time taken for all tasks.
A mattress can be kept dry and hygienic by using:-
The side-effects of using a catheter include:-
Bowel incontinence is when you find it sometimes difficult to control your bowels. It affects one in five people aged over sixty five and rises for people aged eighty and over.
Bowel incontinence is not a natural part of ageing but older people are more at risk of developing the condition.
Bowel incontinence can present itself as:-
If the accidents become regular, this will greatly affect quality of life and socialisation. Your first action should be to seek medical attention. This condition can often be treated with medication, though visiting the doctor should always be looked upon as a priority.
Treatment could include:-
There are many causes for bowel incontinence, including bleeding piles, constipation and diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease (inflammatory bowel syndrome), childbirth (which causes stretching of the muscles) and also conditions which can affect nerve endings e.g. a stroke and diabetes.
For bowel incontinence, pads are preferred over and above pants.
When choosing the most effective bowel incontinence pad, look for pads which:-
An active person may make different choices to an inactive person, as to what is the best bowel incontinence pad to wear.
An active person will be better suited to choosing a shaped pad, as this will accommodate movement and general activity.
An inactive person will find an all in one pad the better choice, as they don't need changing as often and are easier to remove (e.g. fixation or Velcro pads), even when the user is lying down.
When choosing the right incontinence pad to purchase, points which must be taken into account include are:-
Protecting a bed mattress from incontinence will promote restful sleep.
Washable incontinence bed pads are a must for keeping the mattress dry and hygienic.
By addressing one's personal lifestyle, leaking can be reduced and quality of life can be brought back up to standard.
Always confirm the cause of incontinence with your doctor, as there may be medication which can greatly help with solving or managing the issue.