Incontinence Complications


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Incontinence can be a very embarrassing and debilitating condition, and can affect sufferers both physically and emotionally. People who suffer from incontinence are at risk of developing other related health problems – in particular, they are more likely to develop urinary tract infections. They may also develop skin problems around the genitals, such as a rash or skin infection. This is caused by the skin being consistently wet. Women who suffer from incontinence are also at risk of suffering a prolapse – this is when part of the vagina, womb or bladder drops into or protrudes from the entrance of the vagina, and often occurs when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened. This can usually only be resolved by surgery.

Incontinence can also cause emotional distress for the sufferer. They may feel embarrassed admitting to being incontinent, even to close friends and family, and may refrain from intimate activities such as sexual intercourse. It can also affect concentration, as sufferers may have to make frequent visits to the toilet, and may prevent them from taking part in social activities such as sports or social events, due to discomfort or embarrassment. Many people who suffer from incontinence also develop anxiety or depression, or suffer from disrupted sleep patterns through having to make frequent visits to the toilet.

Incontinence is surrounded by social stigma, and because of this it has been estimated that 45% of incontinence sufferers wait up to 5 years before seeking help – yet in reality it is far more common than sufferers imagine.

Night Time Incontinence

People who suffer from night-time incontinence (sometimes called nocturia) may also be troubled by problems associated with disturbed sleep, which can include severe fatigue, loss in ability to concentrate, and general poor health. People who are caring for an elderly relative who suffers from incontinence may find it difficult to cope, and this could result in the sufferer being moved to a care home and losing their independence.