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Bladder and Bowel 2021

Bladder problems: When is it time to see your GP?

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Sarah Hillery

Urology Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Trustee of the British Association of Urological Nurses (BAUN)

If you have been struggling with bladder problems throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t wait any longer. Now is the time to see your GP.


Throughout the global pandemic, many people have kept their worrying urological symptoms to themselves. The changes to healthcare provision, such as virtual clinics, may also have made it seem more difficult to see your doctor than ever. However, it is very important that you do book in to see your GP if you are troubled by any of the following:

  • Seeing blood in your urine
  • Finding a lump or bump anywhere on your genitals
  • Struggling to empty your bladder
  • Difficulty controlling your wee
  • Pain or discomfort around your bladder, kidneys or genitals
  • Feeling pressure in your pelvis or lower tummy
  • Wetting the bed
  • Worrying about prostate cancer

Common problems

Bladder problems are so common that most people will have a brush with them at some point in their life. Whether you’re having difficulty with needing to urinate too frequently or at the wrong times, difficulty with keeping urine in (or getting it out!) or you’re worried about lumps, bumps or bleeding, it’s important to find out what the cause is.

Even though fear of embarrassment may be making you drag your heels somewhat, please be reassured that help is out there. Now is the time to get these problems treated. They do matter and we do want to know about them so we can help you get better.

Even though fear of embarrassment may be making you drag your heels somewhat, please be reassured that help is out there.

Getting better

Many common concerns can be relieved with a quick consultation and perhaps a course of medication or even a minor change of lifestyle. Your GP can help you with common urological symptoms but if you do require referral on to a specialist urology service in a hospital, worrying symptoms (such as seeing blood in your urine) or troublesome symptoms (leaking urine) will be assessed and treated very quickly.

Although it may feel daunting to discuss embarrassing or worrying symptoms, you can be reassured that GPs and urology specialists hear about them day in and day out and they are certainly not embarrassing to us.

Remember, if you’ve been keeping quiet about the problems listed above, don’t think your GP is too busy to see you. Your healthcare professionals are keen to help you get better.

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