How often should you go?

Bladder and bowel control problems affect around one in twenty Australians, yet most people find discussing such issues embarrassing and do not seek professional advice.

Incontinence occurs when limited bladder or bowel control causes a leak of urine (urinary incontinence) or faeces (faecal incontinence). Many people think such incidents are a normal part of ageing and as such, nothing can be done to help. In many cases, the cause can be cured, or at least better managed, giving the sufferer a better quality of life.

Normal bladder function varies from person to person, with most people needing to empty their bladder every three to four hours. Bowel movements vary even greater, with three times a day to once every three days being normal, as long as the pattern is consistent. Any changes from a normal bowel or bladder pattern, changes to urine or faeces, or an increase in bowel or bladder accidents should be discussed with your doctor.

For more information on how to deal with incontinence problems, call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 or visit Continence Foundation of Australia.

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Transition to retirement

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