Incontinence is a term that describes any accidental or involuntary leaking or loss of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces or wind from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence). Incontinence can occur in children and adults. Urinary incontinence is common and may have a range of causes, including as a result of an underlying treatable medical condition. Continence management usually includes a full assessment, including general physical examination looking for signs of medical conditions causing incontinence; history taking and often keeping a bladder/bowel diary; and any of a variety of tests. Once the condition is assessed, a treatment plan is created. Treatment options range from symptom management, behaviour management, and medications to surgery. The least invasive treatment is started first. Treatment options may be aimed at underlying causes of the incontinence, or at managing the symptoms, such as using absorbent products, along with education and ongoing support.
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