Incontinence can happen for many different reasons. Some causes are common in both men and women, but others affect men alone. Common reasons for incontinence in the elderly is a urinary tract infection (UTI), vaginal infection or irritation or constipation. Regular medications can also cause a loss of bladder control, but this is unlikely to last too long.
Other causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Weak and/or overactive bladder muscles
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Pelvic organ prolapse. This is when pelvic organs are out of place.
- Nerves that control the bladder may be impacted by conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or diabetes.
- Reduced mobility/frailty or conditions such as arthritis that prevent a person going to the bathroom quickly
- An enlarged prostate in a man can cause a blockage
- Injury or damage to the nerves or muscles in the bladder from surgery
- There is a problem with the bladder and urethra that cause urine to leak
If you are worried that your loved one needs incontinence care, you should contact your GP. They will be able to determine what may be causing the issue and will advise of other services available, including an NHS Continence Clinic near you. They have specialist nurses who can provide more specific guidance and support. They will also be able to advise on products that can help your loved one’s situation depending on what is causing the incontinence.