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​What Causes Incontinence?

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 14 Aug 2020

​What Causes Incontinence?


Incontinence is the involuntary loss of bladder and bowel control and can affect men, women and children of all ages, with over 5 million Australians experiencing bowel or bladder control problems. 1 There are several types of incontinence, and the causes can vary depending on which type you may be experiencing.

Some examples of incontinence types include stress incontinence, urge incontinence and overflow incontinence. Stress incontinence can occur when activities are undertaken that add pressure onto the bladder causing urine leakage. It can happen due to a range of physical activities including laughing, coughing, sneezing, or walking.

Urge incontinence or overactive bladder syndrome deals with the urge to urinate even when the bladder isn’t full, this can lead to involuntary loss of urine before reaching the toilet. This type is common in both men and women and can occur more as you age. Symptoms may include waking up multiple times in the middle of the night with the urge to urinate, having to urinate more than eight times a day and feeling as if you won’t make it to the toilet when you need to urinate.

Overflow incontinence affects more men than women and occurs when you have difficulties completely emptying your bladder. This can result in an overflow, sometimes with a large amount of urine as your bladder will leak without any notice. It can occur when you have no urge to urinate as the brain has no idea that the bladder is full. Symptoms can include a sudden release of urine, feeling as if it’s hard to urinate even though you feel as if you need to go and bed wetting. 

To find out more about the other kinds of incontinence that you can experience, click here.


Risk Factors

  • Age can be a factor as when we get older our pelvic floor muscles can become weaker and can cause the occurrence of incontinence.
  • The risk of developing incontinence while pregnant or after the baby is born can increase due to the weight and pressure of the baby pushing down on the pelvic floor muscles. This can put pressure on your bladder muscle causing leaking urine.
  • Diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis can affect bladder control due to the increased chances of damaged nerves.
  • An enlarged prostate gland can be a contributor towards incontinence in men.
  • A spinal cord injury can cause incontinence due to miscommunication between the brain and the nerves that control bowel and bladder function, disrupting the flow of urine.
  • A urinary tract infection may also cause temporary urge incontinence, but this often clears up as the infection goes away.



Treatments for Incontinence

A way to help prevent the occurrence of incontinence is bladder training. This is when you schedule the amount of time between bathroom trips, helping you to decrease the amount of trips you take and also helping you to improve your bladder’s capability of holding more urine.

Pelvic muscle exercises, also commonly known as kegel exercises are used to help strengthen your pelvic muscles. These support the bladder and can help you avoid the loss of urine and prevent accidents from occurring.

Another useful tip that may help includes ensuring that you are able to access your bathroom at home and that there are no obstacles or barriers in your way. Make sure that there are no obstructions and keep the door open and lights on to allow for easy access.

If you suffer from a medical condition, then it is best to discuss your treatment options with your GP so they can provide appropriate advice depending on your individual situation.

If you are experiencing incontinence, Molicare have a vast range of products that are highly absorbent and provide a comfortable fit. With a range of different styles, sizes and absorbency levels – there’s a perfect fit for all incontinence needs. Their curly fibre technology also helps to maintain healthy pH levels and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Molicare has a vast range of incontinence products including adult incontinence pads and incontinence pants for men with their Molicare premium range, Molicare pads and Molicare mobile range. They also have a wide range of incontinence pads for men and incontinence pads for women.

It is important to seek medical advice and talk to your doctor or a continence professional about your symptoms.  Visit your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacy team for more information and recommendations on the best incontinence products for you. Click here for our range of products.


1Understanding Incontinence. https://continence.org.au/about-continence/understanding-incontinence