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Continence problems

Normal bladder behaviour

Most adults under 55 years of age empty their bladder 4 to 8 times a day, and can hold for up to 8 hours when asleep. This is with a normal fluid intake of 1.5 to 2 litres (2.5 to 3.5 pints). You should be able to 'hold on' without discomfort for at least 10 minutes without leaking.

By age 55 many people begin to need to empty their bladder once at night, and by 70 it may need to empty twice over 8 hours of sleep.

If you leak urine when you cough or sneeze this is a weakness in your pelvic floor – you would benefit from doing pelvic floor exercises.

Bladder is not functioning normally

You can to talk to the doctor or nurse at your GP surgery, or contact the Isle of Man Continence Advisor; a nurse specialising in bladder and bowel problems.

Continence Advisory Service

This service exists to provide professional advice, support and information to all individuals with continence problems, or their carers. Where continence cannot be retained or regained, advice on, and provision of suitable aids and appliances is included. All local residents have the right to access the service, either through regular clinic sessions held throughout the Island or via home visits.

The service operates Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays.

Continence Advisor clinics are held:

  • every Thursday morning and afternoon at Central Community Health Centre, Douglas - appointment only
  • every Tuesday afternoon at Thie Rosien, Port Erin - appointment only
  • second and last Mondays of the month in the morning at Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital - appointment only
Continence Advisory Service

Community Health Centre

Westmoreland Road


Isle of Man


Telephone:+44 1624 693551

Normal bowel behaviour

Normal bowel habit is to pass a soft formed stool between 3 times a day and every 3 days. More or less often is unusual. If the stool is hard, or difficult to pass, or you are emptying your bowels less than twice a week you are constipated.

Help with incontinence pads

If you are having problems with your bladder or bowels you will need to have an assessment by a member of the community nursing staff to see how best we can help you.

The Community Equipment Store is open 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday. They are closed on public holidays.

Community Equipment Store

Unit 5 and 6

Kirby Industrial Estate

Vicarage Road



Telephone:+44 1624 693553

Email:Send Email

Further information online

For anything related to children with bladder or bowel problems go to the ERIC website, the UK's leading childhood continence charity.

For information for adults try the UK NHS choices website, or you might find the bladder and bowel foundation helpful.

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