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Incontinence

Causes of Incontinence

Getting help

Causes of Incontinence

Incontinence is the loss of control of the bladder or bowel. It is not unusual to be incontinent immediately following stroke.

There are several different reasons why you may have incontinence problems following stroke. For instance, if you're not fully aware of your surroundings, you may be unaware of the need to use the lavatory and may wet or soil yourself without realising or noticing. 

The stroke may have damaged the part of the brain that controls the bladder and / or the bowel.  Other problems can also cause incontinence difficulties; for example, if you have difficulty walking or moving around, or you need help getting to the toilet, you may not be able to get there on time. The same is true for communication problems, if your stroke has left you with speech problems, you may not be able to tell anyone when you need the toilet.

Don't suffer in silence there are many ways to improve incontinence.

Urinary incontinence can vary from occasional to continuous.  For many people the problem gets better by itself.  If you continue to suffer from continence problems you can get some extra help, which may stop the continence problem completely and / or improve it, making it easier for you to manage.  You can get help from your local continence nurse and you could ask your GP, practice nurse or hospital doctor for advice.

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Getting help

Some people might need some simple tests.  There are several straightforward ways of helping.  For urinary incontinence these include re-training your bladder through exercises, medication, or equipment to make it easier to go to the toilet.

For bowel incontinence it is important to restore a predictable bowel habit as soon as possible.  Noting the frequency of bowel movements and trying to establish a pattern helps to predict when your bowels will move and allows you to get to the toilet in time. 

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