Incontinence means the involuntary loss of bladder or bowel control and is a symptom not a condition in itself. There are a wide variety of conditions and disorders that can bring about incontinence, including birth defects, the effects of surgery, nerve damage, infection, and changes associated with ageing. It can also occur as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.
Incontinence exists among children, men and women of all ages. At some stage during their lives, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men will be affected.
The scale of the condition varies too – in the case of urinary incontinence, from small and infrequent dribbles, to the occasional loss of bladder control or a total inability to hold urine.
Read more here about the different types, causes and treatments of incontinence.