Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

4. Other Factors

There are a number of other factors which may also affect continence
Pre-stroke conditions It is important to establish whether a person had any continence issues prior to their stroke and how these were managed.
Urinary infection This may cause the person to feel the need to pass urine frequently and also cause incontinence.
Constipation It is important to note that although a person may be passing some watery stool it is still possible that they are constipated. This is called ‘faecal overflow’. Hardened faeces can also press on the bladder and cause urinary incontinence. Constipation may be caused by:

  • Poor oral intake
  • Lack of fibre in diet
  • Immobility
  • Medication
  • Decreased muscular control of the bowels (ability to push!)
  • Inadequate toilet facilities with for example lack of appropriate aids and adaptations, may mean that a person is reluctant to use the toilet
  • Lack of privacy may mean that a person is reluctant to for example use a commode
Depression/low mood A person may be too lethargic to make the effort to go to the toilet

Page last reviewed: 30 Jan 2020