A continence nurse specialist is a registered nurse with extensive training in continence care. They are able to assess your condition and work with you to develop a management plan to suit your needs. Continence nurse advisors may visit you at home or see you in a continence clinic.
Practice nurses are nurses who work from a medical practice. Ask your doctor's surgery if they have a practice nurse who can provide advice and support regarding bladder and bowel problems.
Women’s men's and pelvic health physiotherapists hold post graduate qualifications specialising in pelvic floor muscle training.
They can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program to meet your specific needs. They can also prescribe other treatment options such as biofeedback and discuss relevant lifestyle factors with you.
Physiotherapists with an interest in men's and women’s health or pelvic floor do not hold post graduate qualifications, but may work exclusively in this area.
They can assess your pelvic floor function and tailor an exercise program to meet your specific needs. They can also prescribe other treatment options and discuss relevant lifestyle factors with you.
Accredited practising dietitians are recognised professionals with the qualifications and skills to provide expert nutrition and dietary advice.
Occupational therapists work in partnership with other health professionals (and often the family and friends of people with incontinence) to ensure the safety and independence of people with incontinence within and outside their home.
Pharmacists can offer advice on medications that may cause incontinence or make it worse. They may also be able to provide you with continence product advice, resources, and details of local continence service providers.
General practitioners (GPs) can assess, diagnose and treat incontinence. GPs have varying levels of knowledge on incontinence. They may choose to refer you to a continence health professional rather than diagnose and treat your condition themselves, which is an equally effective (and in some cases better) option.
If you are seen by a continence health professional, it is important to involve your GP in your care. They possess a good knowledge of your health history including medical conditions and surgery or medications you may have or now be on (which may pre-dispose you to developing incontinence).
If you are embarrassed to speak to your GP about bladder or bowel problems, try and discuss it at your regular health check, pap smear or prostate examination. You should also discuss the management of other conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity and arthritis to reduce their impact on your incontinence.
Urologists are combined medical and surgical specialists who treat men and women with kidney, bladder and urinary problems. Urologists also care for men’s sexual and reproductive health.
A gynecologist is a doctor who specialises in preventing and treating illnesses of the female reproductive organs. If you are incontinent, your GP may refer you to a gynaecologist to discuss treatment that may improve your condition.
A urogynaecologist is a gynaecologist who has undertaken further advanced specialist training in the complexities of vaginal prolapse and types of bladder dysfunction including urinary incontinence.
Geriatricians are doctors who specialise in providing medical care for the elderly. Rather than focus solely on disease detection and cure, they also look after the social and rehabilitative aspects of an elderly person’s health.
Gastroenterologists specialise in gastrointestinal diseases and are able to investigate the causes and contributing factors to severe bowel dysfunction.
Once a person has visited a gastroenterologist and investigations suggest severe rectal dysfunction, the specialist may refer the client to a colorectal surgeon. Colorectal surgeons have skills in surgical techniques designed to correct mechanical bowel dysfunction that contributes to constipation.