How Many People Have Incontinence?

Over 4.8 million Australians over the age of 15 (approximately 20% of the total population) have bladder or bowel control problems. Urinary incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men (1 in 10) and up to 37% of Australian women (1 in 3). Faecal incontinence affects up to 20% of Australian men and up to 12.9% of Australian women (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006*). 

It is likely that the true number of people affected is much higher. Many people do not tell their doctor or healthcare professional about their incontinence, due to embarrassment. Some people wrongly think that incontinence is a normal part of aging or that it cannot be treated. This is unfortunate, as many cases can be successfully treated or significantly improved 

Key Stats – Deloitte Access Economic Report* 

  • This number  of people with incontinence is predicted to grow to 6.5 million by 2030. 
  • 80% of people with urinary incontinence are women. 
  • 1 in 3 women who ever had a baby wet themselves. 
  • Strong pelvic floor muscles are necessary for bladder and bowel control and good sexual function. 
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises have been shown to prevent and treat incontinence at any age. 
  • Less than 2 out of 10 women (7.66%) do their pelvic floor exercises daily. 
  • 70% of incontinent people do not seek help. 
  • Bladder and bowel control problems are not a natural part of ageing or having a baby. 
  • Incontinence can have long-term physical and emotional impact; affecting self-esteem, motivation and independence. 

As shown from the Deloitte Access Economics  Report* incontinence is a common condition so you should not feel you are alone or suffer alone.  

Causes and help 

Incontinence can affect people of any age both men and women. There are certain life events that you increase your risk of developing urinary incontinence. These events include stress, pregnancy, menopause and some surgical operations. Certain medications, such as diuretics, some blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, can cause urinary incontinence, or at least be a contributing factor 

Talking to a healthcare professional is important  

Do not feel embarrassed if you experience incontinence you are not alone. Your healthcare professional can advise ways to manage your incontinence or depending on your conditions cure it 

If you suspect medications may be increasing or even causing continence problems, let your doctor or healthcare professional  know about all the medicines you take, both prescription and over-the-counter. That way, your doctor or healthcare professional can help determine whether these medicines should be adjusted or stopped, or if a treatment should be modified. 


A useful aid is the Ontex Continence Care Tips booklet. The booklet provides tips on living with incontinence and how to continue to live a full and active life. 

For a free copy of the booklet use the contact us form on our website or if you are a healthcare professional contact your local Business Development Manager on 1300 788 601 

Note as pat of ongoing commitment providing the best possible continence care solutions, we offer Free Samples of our products, providing  consumers with the opportunity to trial and experience for themselves.  

For more useful tips and advice we recommend reaching out to The Continence Foundation of Australia. They have a free call helpline 1800 33 00 66 or go to their website 



Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006 

Deloitte Access Economic Report 

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