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Dealing with Incontinence After Stroke

Dealing with Incontinence After Stroke
Shweta Chaubey

Incontinence after a stroke can be challenging and often embarrassing to deal with. However, it is not rare; many stroke survivors face this issue, and there are effective ways to help you regain loss of bowel and bladder control.    

Let's journey towards better understanding and managing this common side effect of a stroke.  

What is post-stroke incontinence?   

Post-stroke incontinence is the loss of bladder or bowel control, which leads to involuntary leakage of urine or feces. Stroke-related damage to the brain can disrupt the signals that control bladder and bowel functions.  

Causes of incontinence after stroke  

Understanding the causes is crucial to deal with it. Some common causes include:  

  • Neurological damage: Stroke can damage the brain's communication with the bladder and bowel, leading to loss of control.   
  • Mobility issues: Limited mobility during stroke recovery may make reaching the bathroom in time difficult.   
  • Medications: Some medications used after a stroke can affect bladder control.   
  • Cognitive impairment can make recognizing the need to use the restroom challenging.  

How to deal with incontinence after a stroke?  

1. Train your bladder  

Set a schedule for when you go to the bathroom and try to go at the same time every day, like after meals or bedtime. Your body can get used to this schedule and become better at controlling when you need to go.  

2. Stay hydrated   

Incontinence can lead to dehydration, leading to severe consequences. Make sure to drink enough water regularly to stay hydrated. Try cutting down on caffeinated drinks like coffee, sodas, and alcohol as these can irritate the bladder and make the situation worse.  

3. Eat healthy foods  

Eating the right foods can help. Fiber-rich foods can make bowel movements more regular and easier to manage. Some great sources of fiber are whole grains, brown rice, vegetables, and fruits.  

4. Use assistive products  

There are incontinence products for people with trouble controlling their bladder or bowel. These products include adult diapers, waterproof sheets for your bed, and disposable pads that you can put on chairs or beds. They help keep you dry and clean.  

5. Kegel exercises  

Kegel exercises are used to strengthen the pelvic floor and bladder muscles, which are responsible for controlling the bladder. You can also use Kegel exercisers to do these exercises.   

Here's how to do Kegel exercises  

  1. Pretend as if you need to stop yourself from peeing. When you do this, you'll feel some muscles tighten. Those are the muscles we want to work on.  
  2. Squeeze these muscles and hold that squeeze for about 5 seconds.  
  3. After 5 seconds, let go and relax for another 5 seconds.  
  4. Do this squeezing and relaxing thing about 10 to 15 times. This whole set is like one round.  
  5. Try to do three rounds of these exercises every day.  

When these muscles are stronger, it's easier to control incontinence. Keep at it, and you'll likely see some improvement over time.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How long does incontinence last after a stroke?  

According to a research paper by the National Institute of Health, many people in the hospital experience urinary incontinence after a stroke. After the discharge, a quarter of them still had incontinence; for some, it can last a year or even longer.  

2. What are the types of incontinence?  

The different types of incontinence that may develop after stroke include -   

1. Urinary Incontinence: When a person cannot control the release of urine from the bladder. Urinary incontinence may be of different types, such as -   

  • Stress Incontinence: Urinary leakage when there is pressure on the bladder, such as when coughing, sneezing, or lifting.  
  • Urge Incontinence: A strong and sudden urge to urinate, leading to involuntary urine loss.  
  • Overflow Incontinence: Incomplete emptying of the bladder, causing it to overflow and leak urine.  
  • Functional Incontinence: Difficulty reaching the toilet due to physical or cognitive impairments, leading to accidents.  

2. Bowel Incontinence: It is the inability to control bowel movements. After a stroke, damage to the nervous system can affect the muscles and nerves that help with bowel control, leading to fecal incontinence.  

3. Mixed Incontinence: Some individuals may experience a combination of urinary and bowel incontinence.  

3. Are there medications to help with it?    

Yes, your doctor may prescribe anticholinergics to manage bladder and bowel problems after a stroke.  

4. What surgical options are available for post-stroke bladder loss?   

Surgical options may include procedures to repair or support the bladder or bowel. You can speak with your doctor to explore these treatment options if necessary.   

Where can I buy products to help with urinary and bowel incontinence after stroke?  

HPFY has been your companion in your health and wellness journey. We offer an array of incontinence supplies that can help with post-stroke incontinence. Explore our catalog to find the best pick for you or your loved ones.   


Incontinence after stroke is challenging, but with the right knowledge, emotional and medical support, and treatment, it can be managed effectively. Remember that recovery is a journey, and there is hope for improvement.  


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Shweta Chaubey

Shweta Chaubey

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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...

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