Incontinence after stroke
Just because we don’t want to talk about it doesn’t mean it will go away! Incontinence can be a problem for people at different times in their life, for different reasons and it can certainly be an issue after stroke.
Here we’ve taken some information and tips from one of the National Stroke Foundation’s fact sheets: ‘Incontinence after stroke’. This resource is one of 10 available from our website and can be downloaded from: www.strokefoundation.com.au
Stroke can affect bladder and bowel control in many ways but there are steps you can take to make this less of an inconvenience or embarrassment in your daily life. The most common incontinence problems include:
• Frequency. Needing to go to the toilet very often.
• Functional incontinence.
Trouble getting to the toilet on time or at all. Physical or communication difficulties after a stroke can make it harder to get to the toilet on time.
Sometimes clothing can be hard to get undone or toilets may not be close by.
• Urge incontinence. A sudden and uncontrollable need to pass urine.
• Urinary retention. Not being able to fully empty the bladder or holding an increasing amount of urine in the bladder.
• Faecal incontinence.
Incontinence can be prevented, treated, better managed or cured and the first step is a full assessment by health professionals. For some people it might be hard to talk about incontinence but it is important you get the best help you can. There are a number of health professionals who can help you improve your continence.
These include a doctor, urologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and dietitian. Starting with your doctor is always a good first step.