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Frequently asked questions

Elderly woman in an apron with younger woman in an apron
How does the bladder work

Every time you eat or drink, your body absorbs liquids. It’s the job of your kidneys to filter waste products from these fluids and make urine. A continuous trickle passes from the kidneys to the bladder, which slowly expands. When the bladder is full, a signal goes to the brain indicating the need to use the toilet. Once you’re on the toilet or at a urinal, the brain tells the large bladder muscle to squeeze and contract. At the same time it tells the support muscles (or pelvic floor muscles) that surround the urethra (the outlet from the bladder) to relax and let the urine pass.

How often do most people empty their bladder?

It really depends on things like your age, diet, general physical condition and if you currently take any medication. The rough average is four to eight times during the day, with the occasional need to go in the night.

If the person I care for drinks less fluid will things improve?

No. Drinking less fluid will make their urine more concentrated, which will in turn irritate their bladder. Then they’ll need to urinate more often. You should encourage them to try and drink their usual amount of fluid or whenever they feel thirsty. However, they shouldn’t drink excessive amounts either, as this is unhealthy and could make them ill.

What should I do if she/he won’t cooperate?

If your loved one is unwilling to cooperate, they might simply be asserting their self to gain some more control in an uncontrollable situation. That’s quite normal. What to do? Listen to their complaints and comments calmly and caringly. Then talk, explaining your point of view. Try to learn and find new approaches and solutions that work for both of you. If she/he won’t accept a good solution, don‘t be afraid to contact professionals or other caregivers to help you.

Can I get help with my finances when caring for someone with incontinence?

Yes, you can. Financial providers treat every caregiving situation individually. They’ll assess your situation, and consider any other health issues your loved one might have. The following are the most common sources of support:
  • Private insurance
  • State programs
  • Community-based programs

What type of TENA product should I use?

This depends on the physical and mental condition of the person you’re caring for. The right product can make a big difference to her/his comfort, and reduce the number of changes needed. We’ve a full range of products designed for different types of incontinence care. To find one that suits your loved one’s needs, use our Product Selector.

How do I dispose of TENA products?

Please put used TENA products in a waste bin. They are not designed to be flushed away. To make changing and disposal more convenient, we recommend keeping a lidded bin in your bathroom or bedroom.

Where can I buy TENA products?

You can find TENA products in supermarkets and pharmacies. Supermarkets usually sell a smaller TENA range, with pharmacies offering a wider one. If a pharmacy doesn’t stock a particular TENA product, they can usually order it for you from the wholesaler.
 
Please look in either the Products or Shop TENA section of this website.
 
You can also order our products online at TENA Web Shop: www.tenashop.co.za

Where is the best source of information and help on caring for a loved one with incontinence?

A good place to start is here, on the TENA website. Have a look around. We’ve gathered lots of information from healthcare professionals and other caregivers who look after a relative or friend at home.

Where can I go for more advice?

For further help, call:
  • the TENA helpline on [087 359 1079]
  • or the Continence Association of South Africa on 011 806 1619
We always recommend that you let your doctor know if your loved one is experiencing bladder problems.

Is there a connection between Urinary Tract Infections and incontinence?

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can cause frequent urination and a constant urge to urinate. A person with an ongoing UTI can also experience sudden incontinence or an increased severity of incontinence for example. So, if a person suddenly experiences symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, one possible cause could be a UTI. 
 
Urinary incontinence can affect anybody at any age, but it is more common when we get older and in connection with other medical conditions. Therefore, it is not uncommon that people with urinary incontinence also have additional problems that contribute to the higher risk of a UTI. Some examples include not being able to completely empty the bladder, reduced immune defence functions, and chronic illnesses. 
 
Bacteria thrive in moist environments, so reduce the risk of getting a UTI by using high quality TENA Incontinence products with a dry surface. Clean and dry the skin gently before using a new product. 
 
Contamination with faeces is a major risk of infection due to the high bacterial content. So, if a person also has bowel incontinence this can also mean a greater risk of getting a UTI. 
 
This is why it’s important with proper hygiene routines and perineal care, besides individualized toileting routines that facilitate complete bladder and bowel emptying.