• Germany edition
 
Incontinence is 'secret widespread ailment'
Photo: DPA

Incontinence is 'secret widespread ailment'

Published: 10 Nov 2012 10:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Nov 2012 10:00 GMT+01:00

Nine million, or one in ten Germans, are unable to control fecal or urinal defecation. Yet despite the high numbers of people affected, it remains a taboo subject in society. Many suffer from the ailment from birth, or following an operation, or due to the effects of age, said experts as they met for a conference on Friday.

“The subject has negative connotations. Nobody likes to admit: 'I wet my pants,'” said Klaus-Peter Jünemann, head of the German Continence Society at the meeting of around 1000 medical professionals in Würzburg, Bavaria, who gathered to discuss diagnosis and treatment methods.

Around a quarter of women and one in ten men over the age of 60 suffer from a lack of bladder control, but despite its reputation as an ailment associated with old age, incontinence can also affect young people and children.

“Only ten percent of those affected are adequately treated. And that's a big problem,” said Jünemann, who called for the wall of silence surrounding incontinence to be broken down, not just by those affected, who are often embarrassed, but also by the medical establishment.

“Incontinence is also trivialised by doctors” said Ursla Peschers, Chief Physician at the gynecology unit at the Munich-Bogenhausen surgical hospital.

“If those affected overcome [their embarrassment] and succeed in talking about their problems, doctors should at least know the right contact places [to refer them to],” said Christoph-Thomas Germer, director of a surgical clinic at the University clinic in Würzburg.

People suffering from incontinence must find the courage to seek information from competent advice centres and not carry the problem around with them for years in secret, said the Continence Society. If left alone, urinal incontinence can lead to difficult psychological and social complications such as depression, anxiety or social isolation.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:38 November 10, 2012 by Englishted
Verbal fecal incontinence has been a overlooked problem in the Bundestag for as long as I can remember.
19:35 November 10, 2012 by realist1961
i've come close to wetting my pants while looking for money to pay for the toilet
22:16 November 10, 2012 by McM
I think the posters are just taking the p..s outer the readers on this issue.(sorry couldn't resist)

Sadly it is a very serious problem having witnessed a close relative go through this in old age. Luckily she had a great sense of humor and often had us in fits of laughter with stories of emergencies. Little Britton also comes to mind.
02:00 November 11, 2012 by Steve1949
Maybe that's why you see so many men taking a leak on trees, bushes and on the sides of buildings in Germany. Just like dogs.
15:50 November 16, 2012 by DiaperDynamo
It really is beginning to become more acceptable. Its a common medical condition that many people suffer from and deal with.

If you or a loved one has recently become incontinent check out www.wearing-adult-diapers.com for reviews on adult diapers and other incontinence products.
Today's headlines
Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

Sport
Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre goal at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Oktoberfest opens to toast millions
Celebrities Carolin Reiber and Marianne Sägebrecht raise their glasses at Oktoberfest 2014. Photo: DPA

Oktoberfest opens to toast millions

Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest kicked off Saturday with the traditional tapping of the first barrel of beer, as millions of revellers are set to soak up the frothy atmosphere in the 16-day annual extravaganza. READ  

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd