I need some help with a delicate subject. My husband, who is nearly 50, has begun to leak urine in the night. He is embarrassed and doesn't know what to do. He now sleeps on a towel to protect the sheets and mattress. Is there anywhere he can get help without going to the GP, who is a social acquaintance of ours in quite a small rural community?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Urinary incontinence is rarely talked about, but incredibly common. The Continence Foundation, a charity that helps people with bladder and bowel problems, estimates that nearly 10 million women and more than a million men in the UK have bladder problems. It is important to find out why your husband has suddenly begun to have urinary problems. It could be something as simple as a urine infection, or it could be his prostate gland or even something related to his bowels, such as severe constipation. Most areas have confidential NHS continence clinics. If you contact the Continence Foundation's specialist nurse on 08453 450 165 you will be able to get personal advice and the address of your nearest clinic. You can get a copy of their new leaflet Bladder or Bowel Problems? by sending an SAE to: Continence Foundation, 307 Hatton Square, 16 Baldwins Gardens, London EC1N 7RJ.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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