Helpline Q & A
National Continence Helpline Manager, SUE BLINMAN, answers some frequently asked continence questions.
Q: My fit and healthy 16-year-old daughter continues to wet the bed at night and has occasional loss of urine in small amounts during the day. She has been seen by her GP many times and has been told she will grow out of it. She is getting very frustrated with everything. How can I help her?
A: At 16 years of age, she may grow out of it, but not without help. She needs immediate help with ensuring her occasional damp daytime episodes are corrected. I would recommend your daughter see a relevant bladder specialist to help her. There are many choices: from urologists, pelvic floor physiotherapists, to continence nurse advisors. Please call the National Continence Helpline to obtain a list of appropriate health practitioners that can help and support your daughter. Your daughter may find our new website for teenagers and young people with bladder and bowel incontinence helpful. She can check it out at inconfidence.org.au
Q: I have been a very active person all my life and now at the age of 92 years old I am worried that my current training at the gym with a personal trainer may have a negative impact on my pelvic floor muscles. Is it possible to hurt my pelvic floor muscles at the gym?
A: Wow! Firstly, continue with the gym exercises for your overall wellbeing. Anyone has the potential to damage their pelvic floor muscles if they do not properly engage these muscles while doing exercise. You can modify your exercises so that they will be safe on your pelvic floor muscles. On our website Pelvic Floor First, it explains how to protect your pelvic floor while doing exercises.
I would also recommend that you show your fitness instructor this website, so you can both work together to ensure all the activity and exercises you are doing are not causing any damage to your pelvic floor muscles. The National Continence Helpline can also refer you to a pelvic floor physiotherapist within your local area to help with assessing your pelvic floor function.
Q: If I layer continence pads on top of one another will it provide me with extra protection?
A: Pads have a plastic backing to prevent leakage. When the pad on top is wet, it overflows to the next pad. This usually causes leakage on the sides of the pad and the pad on the bottom is not used to its full capacity. Many people think that there is nothing they can do for their incontinence, except to buy pads. This is incorrect. The majority of incontinence cases can be better managed or cured with the intervention of a health professional that specialises in continence management. At the very least, the person can save money by receiving advice on the most suitable product to contain their incontinence.