Updated 21 June 2016

World Continence Week: Improve your bottom line

The bottom line is that one in four women and one in eight men is incontinent – and they aren’t all elderly!


World Continence Week 2016, which will be held from June 20-26, aims to show that incontinence (when your bladder or bowel accidently leaks) is a widespread, yet treatable, condition that can be prevented, cured or positively managed. 

Although conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, diabetes, spina bifida, arthritis, multiple pregnancies and prostate disease increase the likelihood of incontinence, things that can be managed - being overweight, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, poor hydration and bad posture – also multiply the risks.  

Because it all comes down to good, and often simple, lifestyle changes, this year’s theme is “Improve your bottom line”. The focus is on encouraging people to adopt healthy bladder and bowel habits to prevent and improve incontinence.

TENA, a global leader in the supply of purpose-designed incontinence products for light and heavy bladder weakness – has come up with 5 simple healthy ways to ensure a healthy ‘bottom line’:

1. Eat to ensure you are regular: Eat a healthy diet high in healthy fibre - wholemeal bread instead of high-fibre white bread, high-fibre breakfast cereals, at least two pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables per day.

2. Maintain a healthy body weight:  Remember excess weight puts unnecessary strain on the muscles of the pelvic floor.

3. Drink well: To prevent constipation and bladder irritation, drink 6–8 glasses of fluid per day. The colour of your urine is a good guide to whether you are drinking enough.  It should be pale yellow. Dark yellow means you have not had enough fluid.

4. Exercise: Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes in order to maintain a healthy body weight and keep your bowels regular (prevent constipation). Keep your pelvic floor muscles strong with daily pelvic floor exercises.  

5. Practice good toilet habits: Go the toilet when your bladder feels full rather than “just in case”. The same goes when you get the feeling to open your bowels as “putting it off” can result in constipation.  

Most importantly, if you are struggling with urine leakage, consult your doctor. Your doctor will be able to assess your condition and provide you with suitable options to manage your bladder weakness. 

A full range of purpose-designed TENA incontinence products is available at leading retailers. For advice on dealing with incontinence or choosing the right TENA product, please call us on 087 359 1079. Visit TENA for more information or to order a free sample. 

Read more:
Faecal incontinence affects 1 in 5 women
Speaking out about urinary incontinence


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Incontinence Expert

Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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