One of the most popular myths surrounding incontinence is that it is a health condition experienced only by women. That is so not true, men can suffer from incontinence too and this is what I’m going to talk about in this article. Another common myth that surrounds incontinence is the fact that many people think it is a health condition that only appears when we get old, but that is subject for another article.
Be it for men or women, incontinence is an uncomfortable health condition that lowers individual quality of life. If the person experiencing it is not properly instructed he or she can fall into deep depression because in most cases, the person suffering from incontinence might feel ashamed and start to de-socialise.
If you are experiencing leakages or bladder control problems or happen to know someone that does the first thing to do is to talk to a doctor about it, more specifically an urologist. He or she will be able to diagnose the type of incontinence and the best treatment to it.
Male incontinence is slightly different form women’s due to obvious reasons, but one thing that suits both is the fact that it is common in both genres and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
There are two major types of male incontinence, urinary and faecal. The first one can be divided in sub-categories just like for women and the latter is probably the worst type of them all as it lowers the individual quality of life to really low levels.
As afore mentioned urinary incontinence is divided into sub-categories such as: Urge, Stress, Overflow or Dip, Reflex and Mixed. To discuss each one of them would make this article too long so I’ll keep succinct and detail each one of in another article.
Now that we talked about types and management it is time to take a look at male incontinence products. The industry has evolved and pants, pads and other protective products are less bulky than ever and can be used without worrying that people will notice.
Shopping for incontinence products has also become easier and more discreet with hundreds of websites offering complete range of products from shaped pads to disposable bed protection sheets. The wide majority of these websites offer a discreet shopping and delivery method and others even walk the extra mile by offering a free advice service.
To sum things up it is important to notice that all advice offered by these websites can only be considered as an opinion. For a proper diagnose always consult you GP, Practice Nurse or Continence Advisor.
It is a little known fact that one in five adults suffers from incontinence, yet millions of people in the UK with bladder and bowel problems face a “life sentence” of suffering because of the poor quality of care, according to a recent survey.
A Royal College of Physicians audit of services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland said diagnosis and treatment of incontinence was often poor or non-existent.
It blamed inadequate training and bad organisation and said incontinence should be given a higher priority.The government said the audit would be a spur to offering higher quality care.
The audit looked at the cases of more than 18,000 people with incontinence, making it the most detailed evaluation of its kind in Europe.
One in five adults suffers from incontinence, a condition that causes great distress but which sadly health staff and patients often find difficult to discuss. The authors concluded that services often fail to meet the standards set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Dr Adrian Wagg, clinical director of the National Audit of Continence Care, said bladder and bowel incontinence causes ill health, depression and social isolation, costing the NHS millions of pounds.
“Although these are treatable conditions, people of all ages, and vulnerable groups in particular continue to suffer unnecessarily and often in silence with a life sentence of bladder and/or bowel incontinence.”
The report said there was evidence that healthcare professionals often failed to ask about incontinence in people at greatest risk, particularly older people, who may be too embarrassed to raise the problem themselves.
It also said they may fail to assess the impact of incontinence on quality of life. The audit found that only 50% of patients in mental health and care home settings had a treatment plan for urinary incontinence. It describes provision of training as “patchy”, occurring in fewer than half of acute hospitals. The authors said identifying, assessing and treating incontinence must be included in all health care professional training. And they said patients should be better informed about the causes, and the fact that incontinence can often be cured.
The report also said the “great majority” of continence services are poorly integrated across different settings, such as GP surgeries, care homes and hospitals – resulting in disjointed care for patients. Overall compliance with national guidance from NICE was “very variable”.
The audit said the Department of Health in England should ensure that improving services for bladder and bowel problems – based on NICE guidelines – was a priority.
The Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy said its attention had been drawn to this issue through its helpline. Continence problems are a silent epidemic with symptoms that can be very distressing and drastically reduce the quality of life of a sufferer.
“Many millions of people are affected and this report shows yet again that too many of them are suffering unnecessarily and not getting the help they need.”
A Department of Health spokeswoman said the audit showed a “distressing lack of response to patients’ views and needs, a lack of expertise in commissioning continence care, and a lack of integrated care. “The government’s White Paper puts patients at the heart of the service, and will strengthen clinically-led commissioning.
“This audit will be a powerful spur, to enable patients and clinicians to deliver the quality of care patients have a right to expect.”
One of the few positives of the results of the recent RCP Audit into Continence Services and it’s conclusion that “Millions of people in the UK with bladder and bowel problems face a “life sentence” of suffering because of the poor quality of care” was that it raised the profile of incontinence significantly.
As a result BBC Radio Devon decided to cover the topic on David Fitzgerald’s lunchtime show. As recognised experts in this subject, Allanda were asked to be the Incontinence Experts for the Phone in, to both answer listeners questions and also talk about the topic.
We’re pleased to say that this gave us a good opportunity to raise the profile of incontinence and also let people know how prevalent it can be as well as the fact that products and treatments are available to manage incontinence. We were also able to give help and information for carers managing incontinence.
If you’re fast you can catch the programme covering Incontinence on BBC I Player.