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Bladder and Bowel (Adults and Children)

We provide specialist bladder and bowel (continence) care and advice.

Bladder and Bowel (Adults and Children)

About the service

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. Bowel incontinence is an inability to control bowel movements, resulting in involuntary soiling.

Our team of specialist nurses are trained and experienced in assessing bladder and bowel problems. Following a full assessment they will recommend appropriate treatment. If the problem cannot be cured, we will suggest ways in which the problem can be made more manageable for you.

How incontinence is treated

In many cases, with the right treatment, a person can retain normal bladder and bowel function. Treatment will often depend on the cause and how severe it is. We will will advise you on treatment options, which could include:

  • lifestyle and dietary changes to relieve constipation or diarrhoea (bowel incontinence)/ losing weight and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol (bladder incontinence)
  • pelvic floor exercises  (bladder incontinence)
  • bladder training (where you learn ways to help you can wait longer between needing to urinate and passing urine) 
  • exercise programmes to strengthen the muscles that control the bowel
  • medication.

If incontinence cannot be improved, some patients, who are clinically eligible, may be provided with containment products (pads) free of charge. We will advise you on the most appropriate and cost-effective options.

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Who is this service for?

Children aged:

  • From four years with day time wetting
  • From five years with night time wetting
  • From four years with constipation and soiling.

Adults with problems including incontinence or urgency (bladder or bowels), constipation or difficulty passing urine can attend clinics.

We also support people who are housebound. Our community nurses will provide an initial assessment and treatment, with advice from us where required. People residing in care homes are initially assessed by the care home staff, with advice and support from us where required.

If you are a healthcare professional and need to refer a patient to the Bladder and Bowel service, please complete the relevant referral form:

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Contact us

Bladder and Bowel Service Castlewood Tickenham Road Clevedon North Somerset BS21 6FW

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Case studies

Steve, age nine, primary nocturnal enuresis (the most common form of bedwetting)

Steve had never been dry at night and suffered with both needing the toilet urgently during the day and slight constipation. When Steve came to our clinic, initial tests showed he wasn't drinking enough. By gradually increasing his fluid intake, Steve's need to go to the toilet began to improve. We also prescribed some short-term medication (oxybutynin hydrochloride) which helped increase his bladder capacity and we gave him an alarm that he used at night to alert him to when he had an accident. Steve soon became dry at night. Steve and his family were delighted. His mum said: "Thank you - you have put a great big smile on my boy's face!"


Craig, age 45 with Multiple Sclerosis

Craig attended the adult continence clinic with a two year history of chronic slow transit constipation. His life was severely restricted by the unpredictability of his bowels. Craig had tried laxatives, changes to his routine and changes to his diet but they were all unsuccessful.

We told Craig about anal irrigation. The treatment was set up and trialled and after just three weeks, Craig was able to control his bowels. Craig was delighted with the outcome and the effect the treatment had on his life; for the first time in a long time he had control of his bowels. 

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