Some of the symptoms and treatments of heart failure may contribute to bladder and bowel problems such as:

  • Frequently passing urine in the toilet  (frequency) i.e. more than 8 times a day;
  • Feeling a sudden, strong desire to pass urine (urgency);
  • Leaking urine while rushing to the toilet (urge incontinence);
  • Waking several times overnight to pass urine (nocturia) i.e. more than 2 times per night; or
  • Experiencing small, hard and infrequent bowel motions, that often require straining or pushing to pass (constipation).

Management includes:

  • Identifying other contributing factors to your continence problems that may be changed
  • Easing the impact of nocturia by recommending toileting equipment such as a non‐spill urine bottle
  • Improving constipation with lifestyle changes   such as the type of fluids you drink, how best to sit on the toilet, going to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to go and laxative advice  
  • Assessing your eligibility for Government funding to assist with the cost of continence products such as pads, and
  • Providing advice about the best continence product to use to manage any leakage.

Choosing Wisely Australia® is an initiative of NPS MedicineWise in partnership with Australia's health professional colleges, societies, and associations.  The campaign is enabling clinicians, consumers, and healthcare stakeholders to start important conversations about tests, treatments, and procedures where evidence shows they provide no benefit, or in some cases, lead to harm.

More information can be found here: http://www.choosingwisely.org.au/home 

chronic heart failure and incontinence