5 Myths About Incontinence

Did you know?

Incontinence affects more than 4 million Australians living at home (ie excluding those in Aged Care facilities). Yet, there are a number of myths that we come across in our conversations in the community and with customers.

Here are five of the most common myths:

Myth 1: Incontinence is an ‘older persons’ condition

Fact 1: Incontinence affects people of all ages. While the incidence of incontinence is greater among seniors, there are a number of comorbidities that can all contribute towards an individual’s ability to manage their continence. These include many types of physical and mental disability, disease, injury or surgery to one’s bowel, bladder, prostate, uterus, colon, brain or spine. Many younger women are affected as a result of childbirth and/or menopause.

Myth 2: Incontinence only affects women.

Fact 2: Both men and women could be affected. While it is true that urinary incontinence affects more women than men, up to 30% of men over the age of 70 have either urinary or faecal incontinence (or both).

Myth 3: Incontinence is not treatable or curable – “you just have to live with it”.

Fact 3: Often incontinence could be treated, and materially improved by performing pelvic floor exercises and by making changes to diet and exercise. Please refer our other articles for more information.

Myth 4: People who have incontinence should drink less to stop leaks

Fact 4: It is very important for everyone, and particularly those with incontinence to drink 4 – 8 glasses of water spread over the course of each day. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, bladder irritation and also can contribute towards constipation. That being said, our Continence Nurses recommend drinking less alcohol, tea, coffee and sugary drinks (including fruit juices) which may irritate one’s bladder.

Myth 5: Once someone has incontinence, their quality of life is in irreversible decline.

Fact 5: With a combination of exercise, healthy eating and drinking, some good planning and the support of high quality, comfortable and appropriate continence management products, there is no reason why someone affected by incontinence should not be able to live their life to the fullest.

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