I think I’ve become incontinent at night, is there anything I can do about it? Can I have an operation? I’m a 78 year old lady.
Dr Rob Hicks, Spring Chicken’s GP, gives his advice here.
Have a check-up with your doctor because a bladder infection, or other treatable conditions such as constipation, may be responsible. If you are taking medication review the information leaflet to see if incontinence may be a side effect, and if so ask your doctor about a suitable alternative.
In the meantime, to make sure the bladder is as empty as possible before going to bed, after your last trip to the toilet wait 10 minutes and try to go again. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening as these can make a person need to urinate.
Performing pelvic floor exercises each day can help strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and in turn lessen the chance of incontinence.
Depending on the type of incontinence medication may be appropriate, as may surgery. Whether a person can have surgery or not depends more on their overall health than their age.