Incontinence and sexuality in later life
Art & Science Previous     Next

Incontinence and sexuality in later life

Dawne Garrett Professional lead for older people and dementia care, Royal College of Nursing, London and Florence Nightingale Scholar
Karen Tomlin Clinical lead for planned care, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Dawne Garrett and Karen Tomlin discuss the physiological changes that can affect sexual function as people age and how nurses are best placed to provide sensitive assessment of the need for treatment

This article explores the interrelated aspects of incontinence and sexuality in older age. It describes the physiological changes that may have an effect on sexual function and the genitourinary system as people age. The enduring importance of sexual intimacy is discussed. Treatments for incontinence and to improve sexual function are explored. The authors conclude that nurses, particularly those involved in continence management, have a role in ensuring sensitive assessment and access to treatment, which can support many older people to maintain fulfilling sexual activity.

Nursing Older People. 27, 6, 26-29. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.6.26.e717


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 09 April 2015

Accepted: 01 June 2015

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now