So, incontinence happens and it’s often a regular part of growing older. It’s only natural for those powerful pelvic muscles – that have often pushed out babies or had years of holding on for one more minute as we drive home from the shops busting – decide one day that enough is enough. Sometimes health issues can also compromise our ability to control our bowel and bladder motions.
Let’s face it, incontinence is not fun, but we can make it more manageable and be better prepared. According to the Continence Foundation of Australia, over 13% of Australian men and 37% of Australian women will experience incontinence at some point in their life. Incontinence is known to increase with age as changes over time to the elastic tissues of the bladder walls reduce the ability of the bladder to hold as much urine.
There are some risk factors that have been associated with the likelihood of incontinence, including pregnancy, obesity, urinary tract infections and some forms of surgery that result in impaired bowel and bladder functions. One way to reduce the risk of incontinence seems very counterintuitive indeed. Drink more. Keeping hydrated on water, not fizzy or alcoholic beverages, aids the bladder and bowel systems to retain function. Eating a diet containing fibre can assist with bowel incontinence. Maintaining a healthy weight and activity levels are also key to a healthy bowel and bladder.
Incontinence can also be expensive, with the Australian Institute for Health and Wellbeing estimating that the cost of aids or products to help with urinary incontinence equated to over $100 million dollars! Thankfully there is financial support available through the government funded Continence Aids Payment Scheme. Through these funding programs you may be able to access funding to support your needs.
You can even find solutions for incontinence can be innovative and somewhat stylish. Here are some of our favourite products that are well-designed, reusable and affordable:
- ConfiTEX Range of Womens Underwear are made from a combination of bamboo and lace, has lovely lace details and is available in royal blue and noir black.
- Buddies La Floral and Safety Briefs come in a delightful floral print and contain build in pads and a waterproof barrier
- Conni Ladies Chantilly Pants have lovely stretch lace detailing and come in musk pink, nude and black. So subtle they may as well be cute lace boyleg panties.
- GaryWear Active Briefs waterproof Pilcher / over pant for gents come in a sporty style with a chic navy-blue colour.
So, while most of us dread incontinence, there are ways to make it just a little bit easier and more manageable. If you’re after more information about incontinence the Continence Foundation of Australia has a range of resources.