The ability of a product (e.g. an incontinence pad) to soak up urine without leaking. Products can have a light, moderate, or heavy absorbency.
A naturally occurring chemical that transmits signals between nerves and muscles in the bladder.
A medication that blocks the effects of acetylcholine to treat various conditions, including overactive bladder (OAB).
A noncancerous condition that enlarges the prostate gland and may cause urinary incontinence. It is most common in men over 50 years.
A treatment that can be used to monitor the effectiveness of pelvic floor muscle exercises, so that you can train yourself to do them properly. A machine records the contractions as you do the exercises, and displays the results on a monitor so that you can see if your squeezing is correct
Where urine is stored in the body. When the bladder is full, flexible muscle tissue in the bladder wall will contract in order to eliminate the urine. It will then expand like a balloon to let in new urine.
A tool to record how much liquid you drink, how often you urinate, and how frequently you experience urinary incontinence symptoms. When completed for at least three days, it can be shared with a healthcare professional to help reach an accurate diagnosis.
See ‘urinary incontinence’.
A tool to record how much liquid you drink, how often you pass stools, and how frequently you experience faecal incontinence symptoms. When completed for one week, it can be shared with a healthcare professional to help reach an accurate diagnosis.
A flexible tube that empties the bladder of urine and collects it in a drainage bag.
This means that you’ve taken all of the medications that your healthcare professional has prescribed, at the right times, in the right way, and for the right length of time.
An inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is common for people with this disease to experience faecal incontinence, especially during a flare-up.
The thickest layer of muscle in the bladder wall. This muscle expands as the bladder fills up with urine, and contracts when you want to go to the toilet and push the urine out.
A medication often used to treat high blood pressure that increases the amount of urine produced by the body. As a result, taking diuretics can sometimes lead to urinary incontinence symptoms.
A small cut (incision) made between the vagina opening and the anus during childbirth to enlarge the opening. It can sometimes cause incontinence.
See ‘pelvic floor muscle exercises’.
Losing stools from the bowel when you don’t intend to. It is sometimes referred to as FI, or bowel/stool incontinence.
See ‘pelvic muscle exercises’.
A pair of bean-shaped organs in the back of the abdominal cavity that filter waste from the blood to create urine.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure that only requires a small incision. As a result, the recovery time is generally shorter and less painful than traditional surgery. The procedure is performed with a lighted tube called a laparoscope, which examines the inside of the abdomen.
A substance used to decrease contractility at the site of injection due to the binding of the nerve terminals, which is sometimes used to treat overactive bladder (OAB).
A condition that causes an intense urge to urinate. It happens when the bladder wall contracts abnormally.
The muscles that allow us to control the bladder and the bowel. They support all the internal organs that are involved in the release of urine, faeces and wind including the bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. They are made up of thick and firm muscles that stretch all the way from the front to the back of the pelvic floor, and can move up and down, much like a mini-trampoline. You can read about how they are closely related to incontinence here.
Contraction and relaxation exercises designed to strengthen certain muscles in your pelvic floor. They are a common treatment for the prevention and treatment of incontinence.
When a body part, such as the uterus, falls or slips down from its normal position.
A gland found below the bladder in males. Prostate problems such as benign prostatic enlargement (BPH) or prostate cancer can cause incontinence.
A surgical procedure to remove the prostate in men with prostate cancer.
A nerve involved in emptying the bladder.
A catheter that is only used when you go to the bathroom, and is disposed of after every use, or cleaned and reused after every use. Patients are taught how to use this type of catheter themselves, which avoids the need for a permanent catheter.
See ‘faecal incontinence’.
A tube that carries urine between the kidney and the bladder.
A tube that carries urine out of the body.
A valve made of muscle that stops urine leaking from the bladder.
Losing urine when you don’t intend to, or having to go to the toilet so many times that it disrupts your day. It is sometimes referred to as UI, or bladder incontinence.
Where urine is produced and discharged. It compromises of the bladder, kidneys, urethra and ureters.
See ‘bladder diary’