Bladder Control advice

Break taboos. Take control, Get treatment

Glossary

Abdomen
Tummy or belly at the torso (or trunk) of the body just under the ribcage area and at the digestive tract
Abscesses
Area of tissue that's swollen and contains pus
Absorbent pads
Pads worn in the pants to soak up urine or bowel leaks
Acute
Serious or sudden or sharp arrival at a crisis stage
Alpha and beta adrenergic agonists
Medicines used to help relieve the symptoms of stress incontinence
Alzheimer's disease
Disease with progressive mental deterioration because of brain deterioration
Anaemia
Blood lacks sufficient red cells or haemoglobin
Anal canal
Last part of the colon just before the anus. It's between 2 and 4cm long
Anal electromyography
Test used to measure level of nerve function at the anus
Anal fissure
Small tear in the tissue at the anus
Anal incontinence
An involuntary loss of stool and liquid or gas that is a hygienic problem or has a social impact. Faecal incontinence concerns stool and liquid loss, not gas
Anal manometry
Tests squeeze and resting pressure of muscles at the anus.
Anal plug
Device used to block the opening at the anus.
Anal sphincter tear
Small tear in the muscle tissue at the anus
Anal ultrasound
Test using sound waves to see the anus and rectal structures
Antegrade continence enema
Operation to clean the colon via a channel, often using the appendix, at a location in the large bowel called the caecum. Also called the Malone of MACE method or a bowel washout
Anterior levatorplasty
Operation on part of the pelvic floor muscle
Anterior vaginal repair
Operation to fix vaginal deformation or prolapse
Antibiotic
Medicine derived from bacterium or mould that destroys or hinders growth of microorganisms and fight infection
Anticholinergics
Medicines to stop involuntary bladder contractions
Anti-motility medicines
Medicines to slow down the speed of food going through the gut
Antimuscarinics
Types of anticholinergics, used to block chemical messages
Antispasmodics
Medicines used to help symptoms or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Anus
The opening at the end of the intestines through which faeces is expelled from the body
Appendix
Sac at the lower end of the ascending colon
Artificial sphincter
Replacement of sphincter muscle with artificial device
Bacteria
Plural for bacterium which is a single-celled organism that can multiply rapidly. Most bacteria are harmless to humans, but some can cause disease and are classified as pathogenic bacteria
Barium enema
Barium is an alkaline metallic element used to assist in radiology (X-rays) because barium's salts are insoluble and give good contrast. The enema is when barium salts are put into a fluid which is then introduced into the bowel/colon to aid X-ray picture quality
Barrier cream
Cream used to protect the skin in the perineal area (betwen anus and scrotum or vagina) from the abrasive effects of exposure urine or faeces
Behavioural therapy
Technique used to modify and control toilet habits
Belching
Swallowed gas that moves up the oesophagus and comes out from the mouth
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate
Biofeedback
Use of electrical stimulation and other techniques to raise a person's awareness of a normally automatic body function to help them gain control of it
Biopsy
Test used to look at tissue sample
Bladder
Muscular sac in the abdomen that receives urine from the kidneys and stores it
Bladder diary
Three-day or more record of toilet habits, including fluid intake and urination. Also called a voiding diary
Bladder neck
Part of the bladder through which urine is expelled to the urethra
Bladder neck suspension
Generic term for different surgical procedures to fix bladder prolapse (slippage)
Bladder stones
Hard masses in the bladder
Bloat
Enlargement with fluid or gas
Botox™
(Trademark) Drug made out of botulin (bacterial toxin) to decrease muscle spasms or hyperactivity (too many) of contractions. Also used in cosmetic surgery
Bovine
Relating to cows and cattle
Bowel diary
Three-day or more record of toilet habits
Bowel incontinence
Leakage from the bowel
Bowel training
Changing toilet habits to fit into a schedule
Bowel, large
The colon
Bowel, small
The small intestines
Bowel
The name given to the digestive system consisting of the colon (large intestine), small intestines, rectum and anus
Bulking agent
Substance injected into the tissue around the urethra (or anal canal) to create volume around the urethra to keep it closed. (Not to be confused with ‘bulking’ action of fibre supplements used for bowel problems)
Caffeine
Central nervous system stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods and drinks
Cancer
Disease where a growth in tissue is caused by uncontrolled division of cells
Catheter
Thin hollow tube used to empty bladder (See Treatment/surgery and Continence Aids) through the urethra
Cervix
Narrow passage at lower end of the uterus
Chronic
Recurring or ongoing
Coccyx
The tailbone or bottom part of the spine (also see tailbone)
Collagen
Most common protein in mammals. Found in the connective tissue of the body. Doesn't disolve in water. Used industrially, such as in producing gelatin. Medical uses include cosmetic surgery and to treat burns
Colon
Also known as the large bowel or large intestine. Tube-like structure in the gut that starts at the small intestine and continues to the anus. Mainly responsible for processing the waste of food absorption done by the small intestines
Colon, ascending
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the small intestine upwards to the transverse colon
Colon, descending
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the transverse colon down to the rectum
Colon, transverse
The part of the colon or large intestine that extends from the junction with the ascending colon across to the descending colon
Colon, sigmoid
Part of colon that leads to the rectum, curved
Colonoscopy, conventional
Examination of the colon with a fibre-optic device
Colorectal nurse specialist
Nurse who specialises in the colon and works with colorectal surgeons
Colorectal surgeon
Doctor who specialises in the colon and is trained in internal operations and procedures
Colostomy
Surgery to remove part of the colon. Part of the colon is brought to the abdominal wall making an opening called a stoma
Commode
Portable toilet
Constipation
Difficulty passing stool or emptying bowels
Continence aids
Products that manage leakage, such as pads, sheaths and bed and furniture coverings
Continence care clinic
Health unit that specialises in bowel and bladder continence problems
Continence adviser and continence nurse
Specialist nurse trained in all aspects of bowel and urinary control
Cramp
Contraction of muscles causing pain
Crohn's disease
An Inflammatory Bowel Disease
CT scanner
Computer assisted X-ray machines
Cystitis (bacterial)
Infection of bladder
Cystography
Method using X-rays and dyes to view the bladder
Cystometry
Test to assess bladder function
Cystoscopy
A miniature fibre-optic telescope is used to look at the urinary and bladder structures
Cytology
Study of cells
Defecation
Expulsion of excrement from the body
Dehydration
Loss of large amount of water; lack of sufficient water in the body
Detrusor muscle
Smooth muscle of the bladder (smooth muscle isn't under conscious control)
Diarrhoea (US diarrhea)
Liquid or loose stool
Dietitian
Expert concerned with diet, eating habits and nutrition
Digestion
The system of absorbing fluids and nutrients from food that takes place in the stomach, colon and small intestine
Digital examination
Physical examination of internal areas in the pelvis such as the anus or vagina using gloved hands and fingers to feel the internal structures and check for abnormalities
Dipstick test
Urine test using chemically coated strip
Diuretic
Substance or drugs that promote or increase urine excretion or help eliminate excess fluid from the body
Dual incontinence
Both bowel and urinary incontinence
Duodenum
The first part of the small intestine that starts just beyond the stomach.
Electrical impulses
Electric charge delivered in short bursts
Electrical stimulation
Electrodes or probe used to deliver electric impulses to muscles
Electrolyte
Substance that dissolves in solution to become electrically charged and able to conduct electricity, such as sodium or potassium atoms
Enema
Procedure where fluid is administered into the colon (or rectum) to wash it out
Excrement
Stool, faeces
Faecal incontinence
Bowel incontintinence only involving stool or liquid. Anal incontinence involves stool, liquid loss and gas
Fever
Abnormally raised body temperature
Fibre supplements
Medicines resistant to digestive enzymes that can bulk up stool
Fistula
A passage or channel either caused by surgery or disease between a hollow or tube-like organ and the body's surface, or between two tube-like organs
Flatulence
Build up of gas in the stomach or intestines (see gas)
Flatus
Wind from the stomach or intestines
Foley catheter
Tube in the bladder used for emptying. Used on a long-term basis (needs changed regularly)
Frequency
Needing to go to the toilet to urinate many times in the day, more than half a dozen or 8 times
Functional incontinence
Incontinence because of reason other than problems in bowel or bladder
Gas
Wind from the stomach or intestines; farting
Gastroenterologist
Medical specialist in disorders of the colon and stomach
General practitioner
Family doctor
Genital
Relating to the reproductive organs
Geriatrician
Specialist in the health and care of older people
Glaucoma
Eye condition that involves increased pressure within the eyeball causing continuous reduction in sight
Groin
Genital area
Graciloplasty (dynamic/stimulated)
Operation to put leg muscle around
Guarding reflex
Action that stops the external sphincter from opening when the rectum or bladder starts to increase in size due to filling
Gut
Digestive system, colon
Gynaecologist (US Gynecologist)
Medical specialist in women's reproductive health
Haematuria (US Hematuria)
Blood in the urine
Haemorrhoids
Swelling of veins in the rectum or anus. Also known as piles
Hard masses in the bladder
Changing toilet habits to fit into a schedule
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Therapy with oestrogen for women alleviate symptoms of menopause
Hormones
Substances produced in special cells controlling and influencing reproductive functioning
Hysterectomy
Removal of the uterus
Idiopathic
Spontaneous arising disease with no known cause
Interstitial cystitis
Bladder disease with no known cause
Ileum
Third portion of the small intestine
Immunosuppressants
Medicines used to suppress immune reaction. Used in gastroenterology for inflammatory bowel disease
Impaction
Stool that's compressed or hardened in the rectum or colon and is stuck
Incontinence
Any degree of leaking from bowel or bladder
Indwelling catheter
Catheter that stays in the bladder for prolonged periods
Infection
Disease-causing organism, such as bacteria, enters the body causing illness
Inflammatory bowel disease
Disease affecting the colon causing many problems including inflammation, ulceration and thickening
Intermittent catheter
Emptying the bladder with a catheter that's not permanent
Intestine, large
Colon or large bowel that start from the small intestine and goes to the anus
Intestine, small
The small bowel that runs from the stomach to the colon
Intestine
The digestive canal that runs from the stomach to the anus
Intravenous pyelogram
Method of looking at the bladder and kidneys using dye and X-rays
Intussusception
A portion of the colon slides into another
Irritable bowel syndrome
Syndrome or condition affecting the colon. It can cause discomfort, constipation and diarrhoea
Jejunum
Part of the small intestine between the duodenum and ileum
Part of the small intestine between the duodenum and ileum
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
Laxatives
Medicines used to stimulate the colon into moving matter and stool out of the body
Leakage
Seepage of either urine or stool
Levator ani
A group of muscles that make up part of the pelvic floor that surround the vagina, anal canal and urethra
Loperamide
An antimotility medicine used for treating diarrhoea
Magnetic resonance imaging
Technique using magnets and radiowaves to make images of the body's interior
Membrane
Layer of fatty acids (known as lipids) and proteins that create a boundary around a cell or organ or other structure in the body
Menopause
Name given to the process and time when women stop menstruating, typically between the ages of 45 and 50
Micturition
Medical term for urination. Also miction
Mixed incontinence
When someone has two or more types of incontinence
Multiple Sclerosis
Disease involving damage to the nerve sheaths; chronic and progressive
Muscle tone
Degree of firmness or strength
Needle suspension
Operation to correct bladder slippage
Nerves
Special whitish fibre bundles that carry stimuli and signals from the central nervous system to the body and the reverse
Neurogenic
Caused by or from the nervous system
Nocturia
Waking and having to go to the toilet several times in the night
Nocturnal enuresis
Wetting the bed in the night
Nutritionist
Healthcare specialist concerned with food and nourishment
Obstetrician
Doctor or surgeon specialising in childbirth
Obstructed defecation syndrome
Condition where the colon is prevented or impeded from normal function and expulsion of faeces. It can come about due to a range of problems, such as structural obstruction by prolapse
Oesophagus (US esophagus)
Tube that takes food and fluids from the mouth to the stomach
Oestrogen (US estrogen)
Female hormone group
Overactive Bladder Syndrome
Bladder contraction before it's full causing urgent and sudden need to go to toilet. Also known as detrusor instability or unstable or irritable bladder, or urge incontinence, or urgency urinary incontinence
Overflow incontinence
Constant leakage of urine because of an obstruction in urinary system, or when the bladder feels constantly full and doesn't properly stop urine flow
Painful bladder syndrome
Interstitial cystitis
Painkillers
Medicines to control pain
Parkinson's disease
Disease of the brain and nervous system with tremor, slow movement and rigidity
Pelvic floor
Muscle group in the pelvis that supports the organs such as the bowel, uterus, and bladder
Pelvic floor rehabilitation
Exercises that aim to restore strength to the pelvic muscle group
Pelvic splanchnic nerve
A sacral nerve that affects bladder and bowel function and muscle function
Pelvis
The bony frame at the bottom of the back
Penile clamp
Device that fits on the penis to keep the urethra closed
Penile sheath
Device that fits over the penis and leads to a leg bag (strapped to the leg)
Penis
The male reproductive organ also used for urination
Perineum and perianal (circumanal)
Area between the vagina or scrotum and the anus; area surrounding the anus
Pharmaceuticals
Medicines or manufactured drugs
Physiotherapist
Healthcare specialist who treats injury or disease with physical methods such as exercises and massage
Polyps
Non-cancerous abnormal growths in tissue that bulge into the surrounding area
Post anal repair
Operation to fix sphincter muscle problems
Preparation (drugs)
Formula of medicine
Proctologist
Surgical specialism concerned with the anus and rectum
Proctosigmoidoscope
Instrument for examining the sigmoid colon and rectum, either flexible or rigid
Prolapse
When an organ slips out of place, down or forward
Prostate
Gland in men surrounding the urethra at the neck of the bladder. It's responsible for releasing a fluid constituent of semen
Prostatectomy
Operation to reduce prostate gland in size
Prostate enlargement
Enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is not usually a serious health problem and is non-cancerous. The increase in size of the prostate gland can lead to urinary problems such as retention
Pubic bone
The bone at the front of the body near the groin
Pudendal nerve
A sacral nerve that affects the functioning of the bladder and bowel and muscle function
Radiofrequency
Frequency within a range, measured in hertz. Used in medical therapies to create lesions
Rectal bleeding
Bleeding from the rectum
Rectal canal
The tube that makes up the bottom part of the colon that ends at the anus where faeces is stored until expulsion
Rectal ultrasound
Test using ultrasound to see the rectum
Rectal prolapse
Slippage of rectum so that it extends beyond the anus
Rectocele
Slippage of the rectum into the vagina
Rectum
Final section of the colon ending at the anus
Reflex
An action in response to a stimulus that doesn't need conscious direction or thought, such as muscles that contract automatically or in response to an external force
Reflex incontinence
Leakage due to loss of control over bladder function mechanisms, causing urine loss without person's knowledge
Residual urine
Urine left over in the bladder after urination
Retention (Urinary)
Urine is retained in the bladder because of an obstruction or other cause
Sacral nerve stimulation or sacral neuromodulation
Electrical stimulation therapy working on the nerves in the sacral region of the lower back
Sacral nerves
Nerves that pass through the sacrum, at the base of the spine
Sacrum
The bone in the back structure at the base of the spine where nerves pass
Scrotum
Pouch containing testicles
Scarring
Mark left in tissue or skin after healing of a wound
Sigmoid colon
Lower part of the colon that leads into the rectum
Sigmoidoscopy
Viewing the sigmoid colon and rectum with an instrument called a proctosigmoidoscope
Sphincter
Muscle ring that surrounds and helps control or guard an opening, such as to the bladder or anus, or in the colon or stomach
Sphincter, anal external
Ring of muscle that surrounds the lower part of the anus and acts like a valve. It's a muscle that can be consciously controlled
Sphincter, anal internal
Ring of muscle that surrounds the top of the anus and rectum that acts like a valve. It's an automatically controlled smooth muscle (unconscious control)
Sphincter repair
Operation to fix problems with the sphincter muscle
Sphincter, external urethral
Muscle that constricts the urethra to retain urine in the bladder. It's a muscle that can be consciously controlled
Sphincter, internal urethral
Smooth muscle in the neck of the bladder. It's an automatically controlled muscle and is only found in men
Sphincteroplasty
Surgery to reconstruct the sphincter muscle
Sphincterotomy
Surgery to repair tears in the sphincter muscle
Spina Bifida
Flaw in the spinal structure where the spinal cord is exposed through a gap in the backbone
Spinal cord
Nerve fibres that run through the spine, connected to the brain; forms the central nervous system
Stapled transanal rectal resection
Operation to fix structural problems in the colon
Steroids
Short for anabolic steriod. A large group of chemical substances consisting of hormones, body substances or drugs. Some forms of steroids are used to treat colon disease
Stoma
A colostomy operation brings the colon to the surface of the abdomen. This opening is called a stoma is created so waste can be expelled from the colon through it
Stomach
The organ where food is received after eating and is where the first part of the digestive process takes place
Stone
Small hard mass found in an organ
Stool
Excrement. Faeces (US feces). Waste from the bowel / colon
Storage capacity (bladder)
Amount of fluid the bladder can hold
Stress incontinence
Leakage from the bladder that happens when pressure is placed on the pelvic area due everyday actions, such as coughing, exercising or laughing. Can be due to a range of health issues such as prolapse, muscular weakness or tears
Suppository
Medicine in a conical or pellet-shaped tablet that is inserted in the rectum or vagina
Surgery
Branch of medicine specialising in internal manipulation of the body. Also a doctor's office
Tailbone
The coccyx or bottom portion of the spine (also see coccyx)
Tension free vaginal tape
Operation to correct bladder prolapse (slippage)
Testicles
Two oval organs in males that produce sperm. They are enclosed in a sac called the scrotum and located behind the penis
Toilet mapping
Practice of ensuring toilet location in a given journey or place
Total pelvic floor repair
Combination of anterior levatorplasty and post anal repair
Transurethral ablation therapy
Therapy to reduce the size of the prostate by using radiowaves to create lesions
Transurethral microwave therapy
Therapy to reduce the size of the prostate by using microwaves to create lesions
Transurethral resection of prostate
Operation to reduce the size of the prostate
Tricyclic antidepressants
Medicines used to treat stress incontinence and overactive bladder syndrome (urge incontinence)
Tumour (US tumor)
Growth or swelling of tissue (benign or malignant)
Ulcerative colitis
A type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Ultrasound
Technique using sound waves used to make images of the body's interior
Ureters
Tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder
Urethra
Tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body
Urgency urinary incontinence
Another name for Overactive Bladder Syndrome (OAB). Other names are urge incontinence or detrusor instability). Bladder contraction before it's full causing urgent and sudden need to go to toilet. OAB can be wet (with leaking) or dry (no leaking)
Urgency
Express need to go to the toilet
Urinalysis
Analysis of urine
Urinary tract infection
Infection in the area of the urethra or bladder
Urination
Expulsion of urine from the bladder through the urethra. Peeing.
Urine
Fluid expelled from the bladder
Urodynamics
Study of storage and urine flow
Uroflowmetry
Technique to assess urine explusion (volume and flow rate)
Urogynaecologist (US Urogynecologist)
A gynaecologist who has additional training in bladder and urinary continence problems
Urogynaecology nurse
A nurse specialising in women's reproductive medicine and care, working with gynaecologists
Urology nurse
Nurse specialising in urinary and bladder problems and reproductive organ health
Urological surgeon and urologist
Doctor specialising in urinary and bladder problems and men's reproductive organs and health
Uterine balloon therapy
Implanted device used to keep the urethra closed
Uterus
Womb. Woman's reproductive organ where the foetus is conceived and develops
Vagina
The muscular tube in women that goes from the vulva to the cervix
Vaginal cones
Special weights used to exercise pelvic floor muscles
Vaginal sling
Operation to fix bladder slippage and keep the bladder in its proper place
Villae
The tendrils that are found on top of the folds of the small intestine
Virtual colonoscopy
Looking that the colon's interior by using a computer assisted X-ray machine
Virus
A submicroscopic particle that replicates itself inside a cell using the cell's own genetic material
Well man clinic
Clinic for men, mainly for sexual and reproductive health of men and other enquiries
Well woman clinic
Clinic for women, mainly for sexual and reproductive health of women and other enquiries
Womb
Uterus; female reproductive organ
X-rays
Technique used to see inside the body using short-wavelength electromagnetic waves

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