Our Community Bladder and Bowel service are urging anyone with incontinence to seek help from a health professional, rather than suffering in silence.

Stef Nixon.jpgStef Nixon, Specialist Nurse in the Community Bladder and Bowel Team, explained: “Unintentionally peeing or a leaky bladder is also known as urinary incontinence and it's a common problem affecting millions of people. Many suffer in silence, too embarrassed to speak to a health professional. But if you think you have urinary incontinence, our bladder and bowel team can help you manage the problem so you can live life to the full.”

Bladder and/or bowel problems affect not only those who suffer with the problem but can affect their partners too. These problems can impact not only physical health through sleep deprivation and skin breakdown but cause mental health suffering through social isolation, relationship and body image issues.

Some of the signs you may have a bladder problem are:

  • Going to the toilet more than seven times in 24hrs
  • Getting up through the night before the age of 55
  • Not making it to the toilet in time
  • Leaking with movement or cough/sneeze
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Recurrent water infections (UTI’s)

You can be referred by your GP, a health professional or if you do not have any health or social professional involvement you can ring 01946 68643 and give your contact details for the Community Bladder and Bowel Service to get back in touch with you. This is usually within seven working days.

Stef went on to say: “When we call you back you will be asked general and specific questions so your referral can be passed to the most appropriate nurse to see you. Once the referral has been processed you will be contacted again to make an appointment.”

If you have any of the symptoms below it is best to get them checked out by your GP

  • Blood in urine or rectal bleeding
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Loin pain
  • Any masses seen or felt
  • Unintentional and unexplained weight loss
  • In people over the age of 60, a change in bowel habit for more than 6 weeks with loose and/or more frequent stools.

Although, you cannot always prevent urinary incontinence but lifestyle habits can help:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Keep fit and maintain a strong pelvic floor

There are four main types of bladder problem and people can suffer from one or a combination:

  • stress incontinence – when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
  • urge incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel a sudden, intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
  • overflow incontinence (chronic urinary retention) – when you're unable to fully empty your bladder, which causes frequent leaking
  • total incontinence – when your bladder can't store any urine at all, which causes you to pass urine constantly or have frequent leaking


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