Incontinence: Making a connection

Myth: Urinary incontinence naturally occurs as you get older.
Fact: Urinary incontinence is not considered a normal part of aging. It affects 3.3 million adult Canadians, 1 in 5 persons over 65 years, up to 50% of women 45 years and older, and about 16% of men over the age of 40.

Myth: There is only one type of incontinence.
Fact: There are many types of incontinence. The most common are stress, urge, overflow, and mixed incontinence. Less common types of incontinence include functional incontinence, total incontinence, reflex incontinence, and transient incontinence.

Myth: Incontinence is a private matter and I shouldn't bother my doctor with it.
Fact: Your doctor is the best person to speak with about incontinence. Physicians are educated about incontinence and, once the underlying cause is diagnosed, they can advise you on the appropriate treatment and management strategies.

Myth: Surgery for incontinence is inevitable.
Fact: Surgery is not an inevitable treatment for incontinence. There are many treatment options that can be explored before considering surgery, but it is important to be properly diagnosed. The cause of your incontinence plays a major role in determining what type or types of treatment you should receive.

Myth: Incontinence is a disease.
Fact: Incontinence is a condition, not a disease. It can be temporary or ongoing, and it is symptomatic of an underlying health problem. When properly diagnosed, you can effectively treat and manage your incontinence and possibly be cured.