Bowel and bladder control problems may happen after treatment for bladder, prostate, colorectal, gynecological, or other cancers. You may have no control over your bladder or bowel or you may need to make extra, sudden trips to the bathroom. Another problem you may be facing is not being able to have a bowel movement or constipation. Here are some tips for dealing with bowel and bladder control problems:

  • Talk to your healthcare team about any changes in your bowel or bladder control. There may be medications that can help.
  • If you are having trouble with bladder control, try Kegel exercises.
    • These exercises help strengthen the muscles in the genital area by tightening and relaxing the muscles repeatedly.
    • You can also strengthen these muscles by stopping the flow of urine when you are in the bathroom.
  • You may wish to wear pads or underwear liners to help with accidents.
  • If you have no control over your bowel or bladder you may have a colostomy, an ileostomy, or a urostomy. If you are having trouble caring for your ostomy, talk to your healthcare team.
  • For tips on dealing with constipation, visit Nutrition Tips for Managing Constipation.