Urology Awareness Month – September 2019

11 September 2019

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This month is about Urology awareness and for those who don’t know, my main speciality of medical devices is the wonderful world of Urology.

To begin with, what is Urology?

It is the field in medicine which deals with the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs.  Your bladder holds the urine made in your kidneys and tends to be one of those body parts that we don’t think about until it stops working properly.

I love the field of Urology predominantly because of the people that work within it.

The people I have dealt with are open minded, compassionate, empathetic and fun. They are sensitive about certain subjects but happy to take the piss sometimes (mind the pun).

We often don’t think about things like UTI’s, Urinary incontinence and BPH until like I said, it is too late.

We tend to think because it is not necessarily life threatening or as dangerous as a heart attack for example, that it isn’t that important… Well with simple lifestyle changes and exercises you can make sure that when you grow older, you don’t have to worry about inconveniences that some urological disorders may bring. Let alone the amount of people that get embarrassed by certain conditions, there are in fact ways we can help prevent these things!

Drink lots of water – Just not too much.

Drinking plenty of water, about six to eight glasses daily, can flush bacteria out of your urinary tract and help prevent bladder infections. I bought myself a 2ltr bottle that I fill up each morning, saving me taking a trip to the kitchen or water machine every 20mins. Just be aware that if you're bothered by a constant need to empty your bladder and you're drinking fluids throughout the day, cut back on your intake & avoid caffeine, which makes you need to pass urine more often.

Go for a walk and/or if you are in good shape, why not jog.

Some people accumulate fluid in their legs during the day.  At night, this fluid causes them to need to empty their bladders more frequently.  If this is affecting you, try walking around more throughout the day.  If you can't walk, flex your calf muscles and sit with your legs raised - to waist level if possible. If you are like me and exercise regularly, go for a brisk jog, move that beautiful skin suit of yours and notice the difference you will have on your physical and mental health.

Let It All Out, Literally.

Women are especially prone to urinary tract infections, so try to make sure that when you go to the toilet that you empty your bladder completely. This one is obvious; you don’t want to go to the toilet 100 times in a day.

Pelvic floor exercises.

Childbirth or menopause can weaken the pelvic floor muscles that hold the bladder and urethra in place. Then, any additional pressure on the bladder caused by a laugh, sneeze, cough, or exercise can cause urine to leak.  Men may face similar bladder issues after they've had their prostate removed.  If done correctly and over an extended period of time, pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles which support your bladder & will reduce incontinence symptoms.

Here are some to take note of;

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/what-are-pelvic-floor-exercises/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVCrZzBNqLs – for men

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd1iVW3zFik – for women

 

When to see a doctor?

If you suffer from symptoms such as, blood in the urine, pain when you urinate, changes in urinary pattern, an inability to urinate properly or at all, incontinence (difficulty holding urine or leaking), pain in the lower abdomen, frequent urinary tract infections, erectile dysfunction or a lump in the testicle, it’s important to make an appointment with your GP.  You may then be referred on for more tests.

The big thing that clinicians have said is that DO NOT FEEL EMBARESSED, your health is super important and if you have any issues, if in doubt, check it out!

For more information visit the urology foundation; https://www.theurologyfoundation.org/urologyhealth