No rea­son to suf­fer in si­lence

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - Stacey Al­dous

IN­CON­TI­NENCE doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate, af­fect­ing one in four Aus­tralians of all ages and gen­ders.

It has a mas­sive im­pact on qual­ity of life — so why is it such a taboo sub­ject?

The stigma of bowel, blad­der and pelvic floor prob­lems of­ten pre­vents us from talk­ing about them and tak­ing ac­tion.

This week is World Con­ti­nence Week. It is time to spread the good news that we don’t have to suf­fer in si­lence.

Blad­der, bowel and pelvic floor prob­lems can be treated, man­aged and in some cases, even cured. Un­for­tu­nately we see ad­ver­tise­ments on television that make us think that in­con­ti­nence is a nor­mal part of age­ing, but this is not true.

For some mem­bers of our com­mu­nity in­con­ti­nence can lead to fear, anger, shame, anx­i­ety and so­cial iso­la­tion.

It is an em­bar­rass­ing sub­ject that no­body wants to talk about, but help is closer than you may re­alise.

The Com­mu­nity Con­ti­nence Ser­vice, with a clinic lo­cated at the New Nor­folk Com­mu­nity Health Centre, of­fers free help for peo­ple with blad­der, bowel and pelvic floor prob­lems.

The clin­i­cal team in­cludes nurses and phys­io­ther­a­pists with special in­ter­est and train­ing in man­ag­ing these is­sues. It is a free ser­vice you can ac­cess by call­ing 6282 0760.

If you leak when you ex­er­cise, play sport, laugh, cough or sneeze; need to get to a toi­let in a hurry or don’t make it there in time; have an urge to con­stantly go to the toi­let; find it dif­fi­cult to empty your bowel or blad­der; are preg­nant or have had kids or reg­u­larly suf­fer from con­sti­pa­tion, you may ben­e­fit from a visit to this con­fi­den­tial ser­vice.

Blad­der, bowel and pelvic floor prob­lems will not get bet­ter on their own. They will never be cured if they re­main a hid­den, silent and em­bar­rass­ing topic!

Stacey Al­dous is owner of Free­dom Health & Well­ness.

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