Which health professional?
Continence professionals are registered health professionals who work in the area of bladder and bowel health. There are a wide range of professionals who work in this area, so it is best to discuss who you should visit with your doctor.
Alternatively, you can contact 1800 33 00 66 and speak to a continence nurse advisor, who can help determine who you should see and provide you with the details of your nearest continence service. Please note you will be redirected to the Continence Foundation of Australia’s website when using this link.
Women’s, men’s, and pelvic floor health physiotherapists
Women’s, men’s, and pelvic floor health physiotherapists hold post graduate qualifications specialising in pelvic floor muscle training. They can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program to meet your specific needs. They can also prescribe other treatment options such lifestyle modification and biofeedback.
Physiotherapist with an interest in men’s and women’s health or pelvic floor
Physiotherapists with an interest in men’s and women’s health or pelvic floor do not hold post graduate qualifications, but may work exclusively in this area. They can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program to meet your specific needs. They can also prescribe other treatment options such as lifestyle modification.
Continence nurse advisor
A continence nurse advisor is a registered nurse with extensive training in continence care. They are able to assess your continence problems and develop a tailored management plan to suit your needs. Continence nurse advisors often work within continence clinics.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) holds a four-year equivalent university degree and specialises in exercise and movement for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries including cancer treatment, obesity, diabetes and chronic pain. Some AEPs specialise in men’s or women’s health, pregnancy and post-natal exercise. They can develop an individual exercise program appropriate for your pelvic floor strength.
General practitioners (GPs) can assess, diagnose and treat incontinence. GPs have varying levels of knowledge on incontinence. They may therefore choose to refer a client to a continence health professional rather than diagnosing and treating the condition themselves. This is an equally effective and in some cases better option.
Urologists are combined medical and surgical specialists who treat men and women with kidney, bladder and urinary problems. Urologists also care for men’s sexual and reproductive health. Urologists need a written referral from a doctor. It is best to speak to your doctor before determining if you need to see a urologist or other medical specialist.
A gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in preventing and treating illnesses of the female reproductive organs. Gynaecologists need a written referral from a doctor. It is best to speak to your doctor before determining if you need to see a gynaecologist or other medical specialist.
A urogynaecologist is a fully trained gynaecologist who has undertaken further advanced specialist training to deal with the complexities of vaginal prolapse and types of bladder dysfunction including urinary incontinence. Urogynaecologists need a written referral from a doctor. It is best to speak to your doctor before determining if you need to see a urogynaecologist or other medical specialist.
Colorectal surgeons specialise in rectal dysfunction (complex bowel problems). They are skilled in the surgical techniques designed to correct mechanical bowel dysfunction that contribute to constipation. Colorectal surgeons need a written referral from a doctor. It is best to speak to your doctor before determining if you need to see a colorectal surgeon or other medical specialist.