Incontinence problems

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. It is a common and often embarrassing problem that can affect anyone at any age, women, men and children.

The symptoms and severity vary from being the occasional loss of urine on coughing, sneezing (Stress Urinary Incontinence) or having sudden unpredictable strong urinary urgency. Sometimes the urgency is so strong, you don’t manage to make it to the toilet in time. These problems can often occur as a result of pelvic floor muscle weakness or damage.

Incontinence problems and treatments at Spire Portsmouth Hospital

The pelvic floor is a layer of muscle, which attaches to your pubic bone at the front and your coccyx (tailbone) at the back. It has three main functions:

  • It aids in bladder and bowel control, to prevent urinary and faecal leakage.
  • It supports the pelvic organs - bladder, uterus (womb) and rectum (bowel).
  • It also has a role in sexual function.

Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles is caused by a number of factors: constipation, performing heavy/strenuous lifting tasks and being overweight will further contribute to your risk of urinary incontinence. Pregnancy and childbirth as well as changes in hormonal status such as the menopause and smoking can also affect pelvic floor strength.

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and making simple lifestyle changes, could greatly improve or even cure symptoms experienced.

Other problems which may arise as a result of pelvic floor muscle weakness and/ or dysfunction are:

  • The frequent need to pass urine more than six to seven times during the day, or more than once a night
  • Prolapse (descent of uterus, bladder and/or bowel)
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Difficulty emptying bladder or bowels including constipation
  • Sexual dysfunction (dyspareunia and vaginismus)
  • Pelvic pain.

If you are suffering with any of the above symptoms, come and speak to one of our highly specialised physiotherapists. They will assess your problem, give advice and design an individual exercise programme specific to your symptoms.

For more information or to book an appointment, please call 02392 456050 or email

All physiotherapists at Spire Portsmouth Hospital are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). Find out more about our Spire Physiotherapy team.

The physiotherapy team at Spire Portsmouth Hospital

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