INCONTINENCE

I’m in my mid-sixties and frequently have the urge to “spend a penny” during the day and night. It’s getting to the stage where I have to plan when I go out socially dependant on where the nearest available toilet is to avoid embarrassing accidents. I suppose incontinence comes with age but is there anything I can do to help myself?
Gladys Ayres…. Preston

Incontinence is a common problem affecting both men and women, but more usually women. Urge incontinence is when urine leaks as you feel an intense urge to go to the loo. It’s usually the result of over activity of the detrusor muscles which control the bladder. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks out when the bladder is under pressure, such as when you cough or laugh, usually due to weakened, damaged pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincter.

Pelvic floor muscles are weakened as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, obesity or with increased age. Although it is not an inevitable part of ageing!
To improve “Pelvic Flaws” lie on your back, knees bent, feet slightly apart. First tighten front passage (like trying to stop spending a penny). Next tighten vagina, and finally muscles in back passage. Now pull up al muscles together and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times anytime, anywhere to help prevent both gynaecological and incontinence problems.

Keep a diary noting how much fluid you drink and how often you need the loo. Changes in lifestyle may help, such as losing weight, cutting down on caffeine and alcohol, and training your bladder. If incontinence interferes with quality of life your GP may suggest surgery.