I have, or I am caring for someone with bladder and bowel problems. What can be done?
The good news is that many bladder and bowel problems can be reduced or overcome, often without the need for medicines or surgery. There are different types of bladder, bowel and continence problems, each with different causes and treatments. We recommend discussing the issues with a doctor and then having a comprehensive assessment of your bladder and bowel function in a continence clinic. Treatment may include pelvic floor muscle training and adjusting fluid intake or diet.
My child 5 year old wets the bed every night. What can I do?
Bed-wetting in children is normal up to the age of 5 ½ . After this age we recommend requesting that your GP assesses your child for referral to an Enuresis (bed-wetting) clinic. In the meantime it is important to ensure that your child is drinking sufficient fluid throughout the day (based on their age and body size) and is not constipated, as these factors can contribute to bed-wetting. Please call us for more information and advice.
Where can I see someone who treats people with bladder and bowel health problems (including incontinence) ?
It is a good idea to start off by seeing your GP to determine the type and cause/s of the problem/s. Your GP may then refer you to a continence nurse, continence physiotherapist or may refer you to a specialist doctor such as a gynaecologist, urogynaecologist or urologist. These services may be provided in a public hospital, community health centre or in a private clinic. Some continence clinics, along with continence physiotherapists working in private clinics do not require a GP referral.
I am spending a small fortune buying pads/nappies. Is there any financial assistance available?
Financial assistance in the form of subsidies are available to those who meet the eligibility conditions. A continence assessment is recommended to find out if there are other management options that would eliminate or reduce the need to use pads, or to ensure that the most appropriate and cost-effective type of aid or pad is being used. Information on subsidies and suppliers of bulk supplies is available by contacting us.
What is the best pad or continence aid to use? Where can I buy them?
The selection of a continence pad depends on a number of factors. These include size, age and gender of the person, the type and volume of leakage, the dexterity and mobility of the user, the time period when the pad will be used (eg overnight) and acceptability of the product to the user. The choice of product may affect the supply source. Some pads and continence aids are sold in pharmacies and supermarkets, others are only available from medical supply companies. Call for more information.
I've heard that exercises can help to fix bladder problems. What exercises should I be doing ?
Pelvic floor muscle training can be helpful to strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles, or may be required to relax a tight, overactive muscle. Research shows that frequently these exercises are done incorrectly, so we advise seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist whose specialises in retraining these muscles. These physiotherapists often utilise biofeedback in their treatments which assists in making sure that the exercises are done correctly. We can provide information on clinics in your area.