Urology Awareness Month is an event organised by the Urology Foundation, that aims to raise awareness of urological disease to breakdown the stigma, and encourage people to actively take care of their urological health.
It is estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by a urology condition in our lifetime, which has a huge impact on quality of life. One of the most common urology conditions is Incontinence, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 9 men suffering from incontinence at some point in their lives.
What is Incontinence?
Incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine or bowel motion at an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate place. The amount can vary from slight to copious. It is important to remember that incontinence is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying disorder.
Incontinence comes in a variety of forms:
- Stress Incontinence
- Urge Incontinence
- Overflow Incontinence
- Functional Incontinence
- Faecal Incontinence
Who is at risk of becoming incontinent?
Anyone can get urinary incontinence at any time, but you may be more at risk if you:
- Are overweight
- Are over the age of 40
- Have poor mobility
- Have a family history of incontinence
- Suffer from a disease or condition such as diabetes, prostate issues or a stroke
- Have neuropathological problems such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
- Take certain medications such as diuretics
Most people are too embarrassed to seek help from healthcare professionals for continence issues. However, it is important that professional medical advice is sought because incontinence is not a disease but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. In 70% of cases, urinary incontinence can be dramatically improved or cured.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, then seek medical advice from your GP:
- An intense need to pass urine
- Needing to pee more regularly
- Not being able to delay going to the toilet
- Leaking when you sneeze, cough or laugh
Spotting the symptoms early will help you get speedier and better treatment, and give you the best chance of living life to the full again.
Relieving symptoms of incontinence
Incontinence can lower your quality of life, but symptoms can be relieved! You can reduce the effects of incontinence by:
- Doing pelvic floor exercises
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce your alcohol and caffeine in take
- Avoid foods such as citrus fruits, chocolate, spicy dishes etc.
For more information and support please visit: https://www.theurologyfoundation.org/