Over 5 million Australians - 1 in 4 people aged 15 years or over - experience bladder or bowel incontinence.  This World Continence Week we hear the stories of those with lived experience of incontinence and encourage others to seek help to empower them to live confident lives.

“It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.” 

Iyanla Vanzant, author, lawyer and American inspirational speaker

Incontinence is not just a woman’s or an older person’s issue, nor is it an inevitable part of ageing. Incontinence is a common condition that can be treated and proactively managed. Incontinence can affect people at any age, but in many cases, it can be prevented, better managed or even cured. Seeking advice from a health professional is the first step.

Lack of support for incontinence and its associated costs affects thousands of Australians ability to seek and maintain employment. Sharing experiences of this makes the community aware and may motivate greater help and investment strategies for incontinence support and management.

Incontinence – the numbers. Incontinence is more common than you may think.

  • Over 5 million Australians – one in four people aged 15 years or over – are incontinent
  • 80% of people who experience urinary incontinence are women
  • Over 1.34 million Australian boys and men experience incontinence
  • 46% of people who experience incontinence are under the age of 50 years.
  • One in three women who have ever had a baby experience urinary incontinence.

For help and more information about incontinence call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 for free, confidential advice from Nurse Continence Specialists, Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST.

To celebrate World Continence Week 2023 please listen, read and view the following for free:

Podcasts - “This is My Story” – a new podcast series discussing the lived experience with incontinence. These stories represent the diverse experiences of five individuals and how their incontinence was identified, how they manage it, the care path they have taken, the value of professional health and their tips and strategies for living with incontinence.

Bridge Magazine - The Winter edition of  the Bridge Magazine focuses on WCW and stories from a diverse range of people with lived experienced of incontinence, including Hawthorn Premiership hero and Brownlow medallist Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico.

Webinar - Lived Experience Panel Webinar Wednesday June 21 at 5.30pm.

Hosted by Anja Christoffersen, international model, author, motivational speaker, disability advocate, holistic counsellor and entrepreneur. Anja was born with VACTERL Association and has been incontinent her whole life. She is a role model for young people with chronic bladder and bowel conditions and runs the Champion Health Agency, representing those with disability and chronic illness who want to professionalise their lived experience.

The purpose of the webinar is to encourage people to talk about incontinence, raise awareness and understanding and let people know where to find help and support. Facilitated by Anja, a group of panellists will discuss their lived experience of incontinence, barriers to seeking help, common misconceptions about incontinence and how to change the narratives around this common condition. There will also be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

World Continence Week 2023 Campaign Resources

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Last Updated: Mon 26, Feb 2024
Last Reviewed: Mon 30, Mar 2020