'Down Yonder' Expo Aims To Reduce Incontinence Stigma

Tuesday, 10 March 2015
An expo in Portland on March 25 aims to reduce the stigma associated with incontinence problems.

The `Down Yonder’ expo will uncover bowel and bladder mishaps and seek to demystify the issue and present potential treatment solutions.

Portland District Health continence nurse advisor Helen Anderson is organising the expo which includes separate sessions on Wednesday March 25 at the Fawthrop Centre from 1-4pm and 7-10pm.

The afternoon session will include speakers Ms Anderson, paediatrician Dr Rachna Verma on bed wetting, and dietitian Melissa Yip on fluid, food and fibre.

Urologist Mr Paul Kearns will present the evening session on `man and his prostate.

There will also be trade displays.

Ms Anderson said incontinence affected many people but was largely ignored as a medical condition.

Incontinence issues are the best kept secret in the world, Ms Anderson said. People just don't talk about it so they suffer in silence.

There is a stigma attached to it. It’s amazing the efforts people take to hide it but they should admit it and come to us to see if we can find a cause. Even if we can't cure it we can try to manage it better.

Ms Anderson said many people believe they experience problems because they are ageing. “They think it's normal but it’s not and there’s often something that you can do about it.

Getting up six times at night to go to the toilet isn't right. One or two times is okay; after that it's a continence issue and a nuisance and we can do something about it.

Ms Anderson said parents also needed to seek help if their children had continence issues.

She said there were management techniques available to ease most problems.

There are many different management techniques, not necessarily surgery. Surgery can be an option but there are other treatments and medications that can be tried first.

Sometimes it might be medication that you’re on that's causing the problem.

This is the first expo of its type in Portland. The Continence Foundation has helped to fund the event.

We're hoping for a big turn out so people can better understand the issues and seek help if they need, Ms Anderson said.

People wanting more information can contact Ms Anderson 55210 653.

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