Bladder and bowel
A healthy bladder and bowel is important for your overall health. Common problems like incontinence can affect men and women of all ages. Find out what we’re doing to help improve bladder and bowel health in Australia.
This is our new health website
While we are updating our content, some of the links will take you back to our old website.
Bladder and bowel health in Australia
Not having control of your bladder or bowel is a common health problem for many people.
Although bladder and bowel problems are most common in older people, they can occur at any stage throughout your life.
- is more common in women than in men
- increases with age — people aged 85 and over are 5 times more likely to experience it compared to people aged 65 to 84
Less than one-third of people with incontinence seek medical help. However, early diagnosis and treatment of incontinence can help cure it or at least manage it effectively.
Many Australians are caring for someone living with incontinence. My Aged Care provides advice on the services, resources, and support that can help.
National Continence Helpline
The National Continence Helpline is staffed by a team of continence nurse advisers and is available to anyone in Australia. It operates from 8am to 8pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.
What we're doing about bladder and bowel health
We want all Australians to have good bladder and bowel health. To do this we:
- fund programs and initiatives to help you financially, like the National Continence Program and the Continence Aids Payment Scheme
- manage the National Public Toilet Map that shows the location of over 16,000 toilet facilities across Australia
- provide funding to the Continence Foundation of Australia
- fund research into bladder and bowel problems to help us develop new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery
- publish booklets, brochures and fact sheets on how to prevent or manage bladder and bowel problems