Urological conditions - diseases and cancers of the kidneys, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs - are becoming more prevalent and devastating the lives of millions of men, women and children. One in two Brits will be affected by a urological condition during their lifetime.

One of the most common urological conditions is incontinence.

 

Suffering in silence

 

Research commissioned  by The Urology Foundation suggests that one in three Brits and more than 40 per cent of women surveyed had experienced incontinence, with many suffering from embarrassment, depression, relationship problems, debt or financial problems as a result.

Incontinence – the involuntary passing of urine – is a condition on the rise in the UK. It predominantly affects women, although both sexes and all ages can suffer. It costs the NHS £1.8 billion each year.

The survey suggests there are nearly 20 million people in the UK suffering from the condition yet 1/5 avoid seeking help from their GP, largely due to embarrassment.

The Urology Foundation is raising awareness about incontinence, and all urological conditions, through a national campaign - Urology Awareness Month - this September. Anyone experiencing incontinence should see their GP so they can access treatment and regain quality of life.

Roland Morley, Trustee of The Urology Foundation and Consultant Urologist at Imperial College Healthcare, said: “Almost half the adult population (between 42 and 46 per cent) will suffer incontinence at some point and for 25 per cent it will be a chronic problem.

“But there are treatments available if people seek help.”

Louise de Winter, Chief Executive of The Urology Foundation, said: “By raising awareness of incontinence, we can break the stigma and encourage people to seek advice and see their GP.”

 

Helping to improve lives

 

The Urology Foundation has produced ‘Need to Pee’ cards, which can be discreetly produced in shops and stores to help obtain quick access to a toilet.

The Urology Foundation is also running the Big 5 Challenge ((#TUFBig5) and asking people to help beat the big five urological cancers through fundraising activities.

To find out more go to theurologyfoundation.org or call 0207 713 9538

 

Case study: "treatment transformed my life"

 

Jessica Dewhurst, 21, from Sheffield suffers from incontinence.

“I used to have numerous accidents at school, sometimes five by lunchtime alone. I got badly bullied and left school at 14 with no qualifications.

“I felt so ashamed and embarrassed by what was happening to me. Once people knew, I lost a lot of friends. At night I would sit and cry and think ‘why me?’ I worried I would never get a job, couldn’t see my life amounting to anything and had days when I didn’t want to be here.

“When I met my boyfriend I worried about him finding out, I worried he’d leave me.

“Now, after treatment my life is so much better. I’ve been with my boyfriend for years, I went to college, got qualifications and have a stable job.

“It is so important to get help. Lots of people experience it and there is a lot of help, support and amazing treatments that can really benefit. People should not be embarrassed.”