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Bladder and Bowel Leakage

Bladder and bowel leakage together is sometimes called double incontinence. This can mean leakage of urine and stool at the same time or at different times. If you experience this you are recommended also to read the sections on both bladder and bowel leakage.

Successful management of combined bladder and bowel leakage is challenging but not impossible.

First of all, it is important that you have a thorough assessment of your leakage by an appropriate health care professional and consider all treatment options carefully - your leakage may be cured or substantially reduced by treatments.

The sections below describe some things to think about when selecting products.

What are your priorities?

Your priorities are likely to vary depending on whether you are with other people, at or away from home, engaging in physical activity or sitting still. For example, if you are at home but with other people, you may be willing to risk some leakage (you can easily change) but containing odour is very important for fear of embarrassing smells.

Can a single product work for both types of leakage?

This depends on the amount of leakage. Generally, only large pads are designed for bladder and bowel leakage combined. Large insert pads are usually shaped with the larger portion to the rear to cover the buttocks and the smaller portion to the front for collecting urine loss. Securing the pad in place is particularly important with heavy urine loss and faecal loss which, through its weight, can pull down the pad. All-in-one style pads or large absorbent pants may be preferable for additional security when leakage is heavy.

If urine loss is light and faecal loss is more smearing than loss of solid faeces, a smaller pad could be suitable if it is long enough to cover the urethra and anus and is kept securely in place.

Disposable products are generally preferable to washable products, which tend to become stained over long periods of use for bowel leakage.

Continence Product Advisor

Incontinence can often be cured. Incontinence is a problem with one or more underlying causes that can often be cured or improved. Whatever your age seeking help is always advisable. Take the first step to getting help by contacting a health professional or continence organisation in your country.

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