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What is Incontinence?

Incontinence can be a very upsetting condition, both for those suffering with it, and the people around them. It is important to understand that incontinence can happen for a variety of reasons. There are a number of physical problems which directly affect the bladder and how it functions.

Causes of Incontinence

Incontinence can be caused by many different factors. Whilst most cases of urinary incontinence will have a physiological cause, other factors such as the environment, social and psychological influences cannot be overlooked when considering why someone has become incontinent. Other common causes are health related and also age related.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. It is a common problem that affects approximately 6 millions adults and 500,00 children over the age of 5.

There are several different types of urinary incontinence including:

  • Stress Incontinence
  • Urge Incontinence
  • Overflow Incontinence
  • Mixed Incontinence
  • Functional Incontinence

This may happen all or most of the time or may just be a case of the occasional unfortunate leakage. Urinary incontinence is far more common than faecal incontinence – although both conditions affect millions of people every day.

Faecal Incontinence

This is an inability to control bowel movements, which means that faeces can leak out uncontrollably. Some people may just pass a small amount when passing wind, whilst others many had a complete loss of bowel control. This can severely affect a person’s quality of life, self-esteem and emotional wellbeing. 

Again, the most important point to remember is that everyone with incontinence, whether Urinary or Faecal, can be helped and many can be completely cured. Find out what you can do to help care for a loved one or where to get some more help. 



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