Incontinence affects many people as they get older. The lifetime prevalence among men is roughly 14%, but among women it’s a whopping one in two. Many of these women live in fear of public humiliation and develop a fear of public spaces as a result. The consequences can be severe and include social ostracisation, loss of partners and a susceptibility to anxiety and depression. Many lose their jobs and could spend up to R1 200 a month on adult diapers.
BREAKING DOWN THE FACTS
- Between 27.5% and 35% of SA women suffer from urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infections can lead to temporary urinary incontinence in women
- More persistent forms of incontinence can occur because of pregnancy, childbirth or age-related changes
- In men, the main cause of long-term incontinence (besides age) is often prostate cancer
- Prevention is better than cure when it comes to urinary incontinence, but if it can’t be avoided the main non-pharmacological treatments are pelvic floor exercises and timed voiding
- Timed voiding is a practice where patients go to the bathroom at scheduled times. Gradually the time between bathroom visits increases, training the bowels to hold more urine
- It is recommended that patients with chronic incontinence wear adult diapers. These products feature a surface area that is against the perineum, which collects and transports urine to a super absorbent polymer inner core when worn on the body
- This absorbent inner core allows urine and faeces to travel throughout the pad, allowing for maximum absorption while preventing leaks and odour
- These can range from an incontinence liner that can absorb a few drops for those experiencing mild incontinence, to pads when more absorbency is required.