Your GP (Doctor)
Your GP (General Practitioner) is the doctor you or your family regularly sees. They should be the first health professional you talk to about any bladder or bowel issues you’re having. They can help you manage or treat your problems, and can also introduce you to other health professionals if they need to.
If you’re not happy with your GP or think they don’t really understand your issues, ask them to put you in touch with another doctor or health professional, or talk to your parents or other trusted adults about trying a different doctor.
If you don’t want to go to the doctor to talk about incontinence but you’d still like to chat with a health professional, you can call the National Helpline (8am-8pm Monday to Friday) on 1800 33 00 66 and speak to a continence nurse.
Continence nurses are specially trained in bladder and bowel health. They’re experts and can give you all the information you need about incontinence.
Depending on what is causing your incontinence, your doctor may put you in touch with another specialist, like a urologist or urogynaecologist (for bladder issues), or gastroenterologist (for bowel issues).
Continence Physiotherapist (Pelvic Floor)
Physiotherapists (‘physio’ for short) are health professionals that are experts in everything to do with muscles. A continence physio is trained to assess incontinence and specialises in the muscles around the bladder and bowel. These are known as the pelvic floor muscles. If incontinence is being caused by something to do with your pelvic floor muscles, your doctor might recommend you see a continence physio.
Incontinence can have negative impacts on our mental health as well as our physical health. If you're struggling with your mental health, it’s important to talk to your GP about this. They might want to put you in touch with a psychologist who is specially trained to give you the right mental health support.
Specialised Continence Clinics
There are some clinics that are experts in treating incontinence. They have several health professionals all working together in the same place. These clinics can be very good when it comes to treating bladder and bowel control issues, but there aren’t a lot around and they often have long waiting lists. It’s still a good idea to talk to your doctor or a trusted adult if you think a specialist clinic might be helpful for you.
Having a go-to support person can be helpful when going on school, camp or staying at friends. This can be a teacher, a trusted friend or a friend’s parent, whoever you feel most comfortable with.
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