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Incontinence is almost always treatable, but not without medical support
Bladder weakness and incontinence are a relatively common complaint, but it is still a taboo subject. "Many sufferers keep their problem to themselves because they are ashamed and feel alone," reports the University Hospital Bonn on the occasion of the World Continence Week, which starts on June 21. However, after appropriate diagnosis, all forms of incontinence can theoretically be treated, the only requirement is going to the doctor, emphasizes Prof. Dr. Ruth Kirschner-Hermanns, director of the continence and pelvic floor center at the University Hospital Bonn and the rehabilitation center Godeshöhe.
Incontinence is usually extremely uncomfortable for those affected and many isolate themselves more and more as a result. The Bonn expert reports that older people in particular tend to rarely leave their homes because of bladder weakness. A fatal decision, because they could be helped by a doctor. After an exact diagnosis - however it turns out - all forms of incontinence can be treated, says Prof. Kirschner-Hermanns. "Most of the time, those affected refrain from shame from seeking help at an early stage for pelvic floor defects such as incontinence," reports senior physician Dr. Anke Mothes, coordinator at the Interdisciplinary University Pelvic Floor Center Jena of the Women's Clinic at the University Hospital Jena (UKJ).
Every tenth German suffers from incontinence
According to the UKJ, about one in ten Germans suffers from incontinence, with the risk increasing with age. "The average age of our patients is 67 years," said Dr. Anke Mothes. Most of the time, the causes of pelvic floor problems are to be found in younger age. The UKJ reports that frequent carrying of heavy loads, obesity or chronic cough can reduce the elasticity of the connective tissue of the pelvic organs. “Incontinence should no longer be a taboo subject. Because today's patients can be effectively helped with modern methods, ”emphasizes the expert.
Experts provide information about risk factors and treatment options
Numerous clinics in Germany, such as the University Clinic in Münster, the University Clinic in Bonn or the University Clinic in Jena, are planning information and advice campaigns on the subject of bladder weakness and incontinence as part of the World Continence Week. Information about risk factors and treatment options is also provided here. The first World Continence Week was initiated in 2009 by the German Continence Society with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of urinary and faecal incontinence. "In this year's campaign week from June 20 to 26, more than 100 events such as patient information talks, telephone hotlines or further training courses for doctors will take place," reports the UKJ. (fp)