The term continence refers to an individual’s control of his bladder and bowel functions. Continence is the ability of a person in controlling untimely discharge of urine or feces. Continence care is a medical field wherein doctors help patients achieve and maintain the control of their bladder or bowel functions by providing them with tips on how to keep the bladder healthy, through suitable treatment, if required, and continence assessment. Advice and emotional support are also considered essential aspects of continence care.

The continence care market has been continuously expanding and is expected to generate high profit globally. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan), by 2015, one out of every four people in Japan will reach the age of 65 years or above. Shockingly, in 2012, baby diapers were outsold by adult diapers in Japan. While the aging population in the U.S. and the EU are on the rise, Japan’s geriatric population is experiencing a significant upsurge. Nancy Muller, Executive Director of National Association for Continence (NAFC), said that while age is a risk factor, people of all ages and genders can encounter an event or situation or that puts them at risk for having problems of bladder and bowel control. Also as per the estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), global population aged over 65 years is expected to rise from 780 million in 2010 to 975 million in 2017.

Key drivers of the global continence care market include rising prevalence of diabetes, spinal cord injury, and spina bifida; growing obese and geriatric population; and increasing life expectancy. Furthermore, availability of cheap alternatives and substitutes and lack of awareness about advanced continence care products are expected to hinder the growth of the continence market during the forecast period.

Based on type, the global continence market can be classified into urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. In terms of product, the continence care market can be segmented into absorbents, urine collecting devices (sheaths, hand-held urinals, and fecal collectors), external male catheters, indwelling or intermittent catheterization, bowel management, and others. On the basis of application, the continence care market can be divided into spinal cord injury, benign prostate hyperplasia, and others. By end-user, the continence care market can be segmented into long-term care facilities, hospitals, and others.

Based on geography, the global continence care market can be categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The U.S., Europe, and Japan dominated the global continence market. The U.S. has traditionally been the leading market for continence care, closely followed by Europe. Growing aging and obese population, especially in the developed countries, is driving the continence care market. Increasing prevalence of neurological diseases and spinal injuries and rising demand for technologically advanced products are likely to boost the continence care market in Europe during the forecast period. During recent times, growing aging population of Japan and low-cost manufacturing facilities in China have propelled the growth of the continence care market in Asia Pacific. Japan has the largest growing geriatric population in the region.

Key players operating in the global continence care market include C.R. Bard, Inc., Medtronic, ConvaTec Group PLC, Coloplast Group, Dentsply Sirona, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Medical Technologies of Georgia, Boston Scientific Corporation, B. Braun Melsungen AG, and Hollister Incorporated. These players strive to gain competitive advantage in the continence care market by adopting strategies, such as, agreements, partnerships, and collaborations, and new product development.

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