Men with prostate problems are often reluctant to discuss their symptoms, which may include difficulty emptying their bladder and male incontinence.
A new survey of 1,000 adults, commissioned by Forum Health and conducted in September 2011 by research firm One Poll, has revealed that 40 per cent of men regard prostate problems as part of the natural ageing process.
Half of respondents said they would rather put up with symptoms than visit their GP, while nearly 70 per cent would not see a doctor unless their symptoms were really bad.
This is despite the fact that prostate enlargement is a common condition, affecting around 60 per cent of men over the age of 60 and reducing their quality of life.
Men with questions about their prostate health who are reluctant to visit their GP may benefit from visiting an online clinic on prostate disease, which can be found at talkhealthpartnership.com.
The clinic is a collaboration between Prostate Action, the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, talkhealth and NHS Choices and is manned by clinical experts and specialists who can answer any prostate-related questions.
Women should be aware that female incontinence is “not a normal part of ageing” and can often be avoided or managed with the correct lifestyle changes and treatment, it has been claimed.
Dr Lonny Green, director of Virginia Women’s Continence Centre in the US, insisted that the majority of women do not have to live with incontinence.
Speaking during National Bladder Health Awareness Week in the US, Dr Green explained that women can get treatment and advice by speaking with a specialist in female urology.
“We see a large number of patients who have dealt with pelvic dysfunction and incontinence for years,” Dr Green revealed.
“Often, these issues could have been avoided – if not improved – with awareness and proper treatments.”
Figures suggest that 13 per cent of UK women are affected to some extent by urinary incontinence, although many of these have only mild symptoms and can manage their condition effectively with products such as Tena Lady.
The vast majority of cases of urinary incontinence are either stress or urge incontinence, both of which may respond to conservative treatments, such as lifestyle changes and bladder training.
People with overactive bladder could soon benefit from a new drug aimed at easing their night-time symptoms.
An overactive bladder is characterised by sudden urges to urinate that are difficult to ignore.
Patients often experience urge incontinence, in which they experience a need to urinate suddenly and are unable to reach a toilet in time.
Overactive bladder can also be problematic at night, when products such as Readi Washable Bed Pads (Kylies) may be required.
However, new clinical trial data involving a drug called Toviaz (fesoterodine fumarate) indicate that it may help to ease night-time urinary urgency and reduce people’s reliance on incontinence supplies.
Researchers tested the drug in a group of 937 patients in the US, all of whom took Toviaz or a placebo (dummy pill) during the 12-week trial.
They found that patients who took Toviaz for 12 weeks typically had far fewer episodes of night-time urinary urgency than those who used the placebo.
Dr Steven Romano, senior vice president of the Medicines Development Group at pharmaceutical company Pfizer, said: “Many patients with overactive bladder experience frequent interruptions during sleep hours from urinary urgency, which can be very disruptive and bothersome.
“In this study, Toviaz demonstrated efficacy in reducing the number of nocturnal urgency episodes.”
The findings suggest that Toviaz may be beneficial for people with overactive bladder.
Another treatment that could be effective is a new device that is implanted in the patient’s back and stimulates nerves at the base of the spine.
The technique – called permanent sacral nerve stimulation – is now being offered by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and has been used in patients between the ages of 19 and 80.
The goal is to retrain the nerves controlling the bladder, thereby stopping the patient from leaking urine or emptying their bladder at the wrong time.
Scottish patients with urinary incontinence can now benefit from a revolutionary new device that can help to relieve the problem.
The device employs a technique called permanent sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) to send electrical pulses to nerves at the base of the spine that control the bladder.
It is the size of a £2 coin and is implanted in the patient’s back in order to relieve their incontinence.
By stimulating the sacral nerves, the device is designed to retrain them so that the patient no longer leaks or empties their bladder at the wrong time.
According to an article in the Daily Record, many patients between the ages of 19 and 80 have already benefited from the new technique, which is now offered by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Consultant urologist Graeme Conn told the news provider: “This is proving to be [a] very successful treatment and our patients of all ages are responding well.”
The device – which should last for around five years before needing to be replaced – is fitted under a general anaesthetic.
Experts have found that it works well in patients with an overactive bladder, which is characterised by sudden urges that are difficult to ignore.
One of the most common symptoms of an overactive bladder is urge incontinence, where the person experiences a sudden urge to squeeze out urine and is unable to reach the toilet in time.
However, the new device is unlikely to be effective in patients with a different form of incontinence called stress incontinence, in which the patient experiences a sudden loss of urine when they laugh, cough, sneeze, walk, exercise or do heavy lifting.
Figures from the Bladder and Bowel Foundation suggest that some nine million people in the UK are affected by some degree of stress incontinence.
Scientists in the US are conducting a study to see whether a new approach may benefit men undergoing prostate cancer surgery.
Around 37,000 men are affected by prostate cancer each year in the UK and many require surgery to remove the gland.
Figures suggest that as many as one in five men who undergo radical prostatectomy to remove their prostate gland subsequently experience minor long-term urinary incontinence,
while a further five per cent have more serious problems.
Surgeons at the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine believe that a biodegradable ‘sling’ may help to prevent this outcome and reduce the chances of male incontinence after prostate cancer surgery.
They are conducting the first study to test the approach, which provides support to the bladder neck and urethra after the prostate gland has been removed.
Around 80 patients are taking part in the study at the IU Health University Hospital and the IU Health North Hospital.
Half of patients had a ‘sling’ inserted during their robotic prostate surgery, while the remaining 50 per cent received standard care and no sling.
Participants are now being followed for a period of time to see whether or not they develop lasting urinary problems.
If found to be effective, the technique’s use could become widespread to help reduce the risk of incontinence in men with prostate cancer.
Dr Chandru Sundaram, professor of urology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, explained: “The most important concerns for patients coming in for a prostate removal are twofold: incontinence and erectile function.”
The expert added that the sling concept itself is not new, but that this is the first time it has been used to reduce the risk of male incontinence following prostate cancer surgery.
Men with low levels of vitamin D may have a heightened risk of developing urinary incontinence, according to new research published in a medical journal.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin, playing several important functions within the body.
It is required for healthy bones and teeth and deficiency has been linked with several diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.
We get most of our vitamin D when our skin comes into contact with sunlight, prompting the vitamin to form inside the body.
However, many people do not make enough of the vitamin or obtain enough from foods, such as oily fish, eggs and fortified products.
Now, scientists have discovered that this may increase the risk of male incontinence, as well as fractures and poor dental health.
A research team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, US, analysed data contained in the 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in order to assess the links between vitamin D levels and lower urinary tract symptoms (Luts) among US men.
They looked at a total of 2,387 men and recorded whether they had any Luts symptoms, such as nocturia, hesitancy and urinary incontinence.
They found that 89 per cent of the men had insufficient levels of vitamin D, with more than half of these individuals deemed to be deficient.
Further analysis revealed that men with vitamin D deficiency tended to have at least one symptom of Luts and had a high risk of moderate to severe male incontinence.
Publishing their findings in Urology journal, the study authors concluded: “Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency are highly prevalent among adult men in the US, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with moderate to severe urinary incontinence and the presence of at least 1 Luts.”
The scientists added that further studies are needed to investigate the role of vitamin D in Luts and urinary incontinence, and that their research supports the diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in adult men.
Female incontinence is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom that can usually be treated effectively, an expert has claimed.
Dr Dexter Arrington is an obstetrics and gynaecology doctor at Silver Cross Hospital in Illinois, US.
He regularly sees women who are ashamed of their reliance on incontinence pads, such as Tena Lady, but insists there is no need for embarrassment as the condition is very common.
Dr Arrington told the Herald News: “Urinary incontinence isn’t a disease, it’s a symptom.
“It can be produced by everyday habits, underlying medical conditions or physical problems.”
Fortunately for the millions of women who experience bladder weakness and incontinence, there are effective treatments.
Surgical treatments can often be carried out as outpatient procedures, removing the need for hospital stays.
However, doctors usually recommend a number of lifestyle changes before considering surgery.
These include reducing your caffeine intake, drinking six to eight glasses of water a day, losing weight if necessary and doing pelvic floor muscle exercises.
Women tend to place significant importance on personal hygiene, which means that many only use products they know they can trust and rely on.
According to a new report from SCA, which produces personal care products such as Tena, personal hygiene is one of the most important aspects of modern life.
Researchers surveyed 7,000 people from nine different countries in order to discover their views on hygiene.
Three out of ten women surveyed for the SCA 2011 Hygiene Matters report said they now devote more time to personal hygiene than they did ten years ago.
And one in ten respondents said that social acceptance was the most important reason for maintaining a good standard of personal hygiene.
When asked about the main barriers to maintaining their personal hygiene, more than 15 per cent of college-aged women cited a lack of time.
Forty-two per cent of women in this age group said they devote between 30 minutes and an hour to looking after their personal hygiene each day, while 15 per cent spend up to two hours a day getting ready.
One of the most common issues faced by females is bladder weakness, which affects half of women, according to Charlotte Gorringe-Serrano, marketing manager for Lights by Tena.
Ms Gorringe-Serrano said that half of women experience light bladder weakness and could benefit from trying the Tena brand, which is specifically designed for women with very light incontinence.
She observed: “We know women like to feel clean and fresh, and we know that not feeling that way can make a long day even longer.
“That’s why we designed Lights by Tena, to keep women feeling their best all day long.”
The SCA research also revealed that many women are worried about their risk of developing female incontinence, a condition that becomes more common with age.
Eighty-four per cent of respondents to the company’s poll said their biggest fear about looking after themselves as they got older was not being able to get to the toilet without assistance.
Urinary incontinence and overactive bladder are common conditions in women, particularly among those over the age of 70, an expert has said.
According to Dr Firouz Daneshgari, a urologist and director of the University Hospitals Urology Institute in the US, more than 50 per cent of women in this age group are affected by overactive bladder or urinary incontinence.
Writing on the MD News website, he revealed that ageing, menopause, diabetes and a high body mass index (BMI) are all “significant” risk factors for overactive bladder.
“In a majority of cases, the over-activity happens both during the day and night,” Dr Daneshgari revealed. “However, there are patients whose incontinence is an issue during sleep.”
The urology expert explained that the amount of urine excreted by the body increases at night as a person gets older.
“This would add to the frequency of urination and the urinary incontinence,” he added.
People can use a number of different adult incontinence products to help manage night-time incontinence.
Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is a problem that may occur if faecal or urinary incontinence in older people is not carefully managed.
Writing in the November issue of McKnight’s Long Term Care News, an expert has provided some useful advice on how to deal with the problem, which can cause great distress to sufferers without prompt treatment.
Susan Wickard, clinical advisor at the American Association for LTC Nursing, explained that the condition occurs when the skin becomes inflamed and irritated – and occasionally blistered – as a result of prolonged exposure to moisture from urine or faeces.
People who are affected by the condition – which was previously known as diaper or nappy rash – often describe a burning or stinging sensation and many complain of pain.
Ms Wickard noted that a significant proportion of residents in long-term care facilities are affected by adult incontinence.
This makes it important that carers know how to identify and treat incontinence-associated dermatitis.
“An important part of managing incontinence-associated dermatitis in the elderly is to prevent or minimise the exposure to urine and stool,” the expert wrote.
“Assessing and identifying the causes of incontinence will assist you in addressing IAD.”
Ms Wickard also revealed that moisturising products and skin protectants should be used to care for the skin and prevent irritation.
People with delicate skin may want to try Tena Wash Cream, which is designed to cleanse, restore and protect the skin.
The product is ideal for regular cleansing and does not require rinsing or drying, making it particularly useful for people with mobility problems.
Another product in the range is the Tena Wash Glove, which combines the gentleness of a cloth with the convenience of a glove.
This makes it easy to use with Tena Wash Cream and people can even use the gloves to clean their whole body