Expert advice and quality care

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Four tips on dealing with nocturia

Living with urinary incontinence can be really inconvenient and at times outright embarrassing. It affects around 200 million people around the world, with women 25% more likely to suffer from the condition.

Urinary incontinence can be categorised into stress and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is added to the abdomen, resulting in the leakage of urine. This can be due to physical activity or simply sneezing and coughing. Urge incontinence, on the other hand, is an intense desire to urinate without the ability to suppress it.

Urinary incontinence affects people on a day to day basis – and in many cases it also impacts people’s sleep patterns. Nighttime incontinence, or nocturia, is a common symptom of urinary incontinence.

Not making it to the bathroom in time can have a drastic impact on your self-esteem and quality of life.

In an interview with Poise, nurse practitioner and researcher Janis Miller, PhD, gives patients some tips on how they can deal with nocturia:


Elevate your feet


Having swollen ankles and legs can affect your incontinence. Health24 incontinence expert Dr Prenevin Govender says, “Leg swelling (peripheral oedema) may be related to congestive cardiac failure, which is treated with diuretics. This increases urine output, and may worsen or aggravate pre-existing urinary incontinence.” By elevating one’s feet throughout the day the water is able to drain from the ankles and relocate throughout the body.

“When women with swollen ankles lie down at night, there can be a fluid shift. All that water sitting in their ankles gets back into their system, into their kidneys, and out the bladder,” says Miller.


Medication timing


When taking medication, one may experience side effects. If one of the side effects includes excessive urination, you might want to reconsider taking it before bedtime. However, Miller recommends that, should you be taking a diuretic pill, it is best to take it in the afternoon. By taking it in the afternoon it allows one to get rid of the fluid before heading to bed.


Overactive beverages

overactive beverages

Certain beverages contain substances that irritate the bladder, causing excessive urination. Beverages include citrus juices, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Miller also adds, “We never drink eight ounces anymore. We drink 12, or 16 or 20 ounces [354–591ml] in our super-sized culture. I see women who are drinking a gallon [3.78l] of fluid a day.”

Regarding the eight glasses of water we’re supposed to drink every day, Miller says, “That’s a bunch of hooey! I tried to find the data that supported it and couldn’t.”


Extra support


If you’ve given all of these a try, you might want to consider sleeping with absorbent underwear. The idea might be a little daunting at first, but it could give you some extra sleeping time as well as protecting your mattress.



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What we Do

Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 


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How We Are Doing Our Part In The Fight Against COVID-19

Please be aware that The Urology Hospital is a surgical hospital and as such will not be actively treating COVID-19 patients.

This will allow us to continue providing treatment to patients in need and we will gladly accommodate you in this regard.

The safety of our patients and colleagues is our number one priority. Your healthcare is important to us and we are actively working with and following guidance from the National Department of Health and the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases).

Kindly note the hospital has set up a Covid-19 task team and contingency plan and we are preparing for all eventualities.

Please confirm with your Doctor if you are still able to come for your consultation. However, if you have any of the following signs and symptoms then please cancel your appointment, self-isolate and contact the centralised helpline on 0800 029 999:
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• Cough
• Sore Throat
• Shortness of Breath
• Headache
• Fatigue/Malaise
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• Loss of smell and taste

To support screening for COVID-19, before entering the hospital, all prospective patients will adhere to the following:
• Complete a Travel History form
• Undergo temperature screening

Should any of the following signs or symptoms be found, you will be requested to go home, self-isolate and contact the centralised helpline on 0800 029 999:
• Flu-like symptoms (sore throat, cough or chills)
• Fever of 37.7 or above

NB: Please notify the person doing your Travel History if you’re:
• Over 70
• Have any underlying health conditions
• Are pregnant

To protect our patients and staff from the potential risk of COVID-19, we are currently restricting visiting of patients to exceptional circumstances only.

In an effort to limit the number of patients visiting The Urology Hospital Pharmacy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will only assist our regular retail patients.  If you have a valid repeat script at The Urology Hospital Pharmacy, please call us in advance on 012 423 4036 to make arrangements to obtain your repeat prescription. We will then prepare it for you in advance. When collecting your script bring your purple script copy or previous medicine containers with you to gain access to the hospital.

Should you need to re-arrange an appointment at the Urology Hospital please call: 012 423 4000 or your Doctor’s rooms.

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