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Incontinence is a persistent problem with controlling your bladder or bowel. It is not an uncommon condition – in fact, more than 2.5 million people over 60 in the UK suffer from some degree of urinary incontinence. Despite this, many people with incontinence think they are the only one with the problem and are too embarrassed to seek help. It can be a distressing and limiting condition, and you shouldn’t suffer in silence.
Although urinary incontinence is more common in women, it affects men too. Many men develop an enlarged prostate gland in later life, and urinary incontinence is often a symptom of this.
If you experience any form of incontinence, it is very important that you go to your GP for advice as soon as possible, as there may be a cure or an effective way to manage your problem and improve your quality of life.
You can find more information on the different types of problems in the Bladder and Bowel sections of the website, and visit the Where to get help section for information on what to do if you experience any of these problems. Age UK provides an information guide on Managing Incontinence which can be ordered free via the Age UK advice line on 0800 169 6565.
If you have problems with incontinence and are thinking of buying products for the first time, talk to your GP, district nurse or local continence service if you haven’t already done so. They can identify the cause, discuss treatment options and, if products are available to help manage your problem, they can tell you what the NHS will provide.