How to Talk About Incontinence: A Checklist

October 2020

Incontinence is the medical term used to describe the involuntary loss of urine or faeces. Women, men, girls, boys and people of all genders, at any age, can experience incontinence. A person with incontinence can experience leakage occasionally, regularly or constantly; and leakage can happen at any time, day or night.

In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) understanding of incontinence is still in its early stages: the term ‘incontinence’ may not be known, knowledge of professionals on challenges faced by living with this condition and good practices for this issue seems to be limited, and the provision of support is lacking. Those who experience incontinence may face stigma due to having the condition, and this may affect their willingness or confidence to talk about it.

This checklist accompanies the guide ‘Incontinence: We need to Talk About Leaks’ – used together they can increase your understanding of incontinence and the options available to support people living with the condition; and provide guidance on how to have conversations to understand how best to support people living with incontinence in your area.

Additional details

PublisherInstitute of Development Studies
ThemesBehaviour change, Children, Disability, Gender, Health, Hygiene, Incontinence, Leave no one behind, Menopause and perimenopause, Older people, Sanitation and health impacts, Social norms
Rosato-Scott, C., Barrington, D. J., Bhakta, A., House, S. J., Mactaggart, I. and Wilbur, J. (2020) How to Talk About Incontinence: A Checklist, The Sanitation Learning Hub Brighton: IDS, DOI: 10.19088/SLH.2020.006

Share this resource

Learn more about SLH Research

We use a range of research approaches, which aim to draw attention to urgent knowledge gaps, blind spots and emerging questions, often at a critical point in time, to support policy-makers, practitioners and partners in navigating and responding swiftly.

SLH Research and Learning