3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Continence problems

Continence problems

3) Treatments

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  • Retraining – this could involve specific exercises to strengthen muscles in the pelvis to regain control. Having a regular toilet regime of going every two hours may also help to establish a pattern.
  • Lifestyle changes – there are things which the person themselves can change such as avoiding tea and coffee with caffeine (try decaf versions) Avoid alcohol. Keep as active as they can. Avoid constipation which often makes continence problems worse.
  • Medication – a doctor can advise the person about which medicines would be suitable. Many people with incontinence also have bladder or urine infections, these should be treated as they can make incontinence worse.
  • Catheters – this is a tube which is passed in to the bladder to drain urine in to a waterproof bag. A small balloon is inflated inside the bladder to hold the tube in position. It is then strapped to the person’s leg and worn under the clothes. There are different types of catheter and they should be regularly reviewed. As the person recovers and starts to regain bladder control they may be removed.

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  • Retraining – this could involve specific exercises to strengthen muscles in the pelvis to regain control. Having a regular toilet regime of going every two hours may also help to establish a pattern.
  • Lifestyle changes – there are things which the person themselves can change such as avoiding tea and coffee with caffeine (try decaf versions) Avoid alcohol. Keep as active as they can. Avoid constipation which often makes continence problems worse.
  • Medication – a doctor can advise the person about which medicines would be suitable. Many people with incontinence also have bladder or urine infections, these should be treated as they can make incontinence worse.
  • Catheters – this is a tube which is passed in to the bladder to drain urine in to a waterproof bag. A small balloon is inflated inside the bladder to hold the tube in position. It is then strapped to the person’s leg and worn under the clothes. There are different types of catheter and they should be regularly reviewed. As the person recovers and starts to regain bladder control they may be removed.

For more information see CHSS fact sheet: Bladder and bowel management after a stroke [.pdf].


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