Causes of Incontinence

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Causes of Incontinence

While the body’s ageing process can contribute to incontinence, there can be a variety of health conditions and life events that can put you at risk of developing either urinary or faecal incontinence.

The risk factors most commonly linked with urinary incontinence include:

  • pregnancy and childbirth
  • younger women who have had children
  • menopause
  • obesity
  • urinary tract infections
  • constipation
  • specific types of surgery such as prostatectomy (removal of all or part of the prostate) and hysterectomy (removal of all or part of the uterus and/or ovaries)
  • reduced mobility preventing you from getting to or using
  • the toilet
  • •neurological and musculoskeletal conditions such as
  • multiple sclerosis and arthritis
  • health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart
  • conditions, respiratory conditions, and prostate problems
  • side effects from some medications
  • prescribed or natural diuretics including caffeine

A risk factor for faecal incontinence is urinary incontinence. Other risk factors are similar to those of urinary incontinence, but also include:

  • constipation
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • dementia

If you fall into one of these risk categories and are worried about poor bladder or bowel control (or experience symptoms of incontinence) speak to your doctor, a continence health professional or a continence nurse advisor. The good news is that, in many cases, incontinence can be cured and it can always be managed.