Urology awareness, help and support

Our Urology team treat a range of conditions and there's also a dedicated continence care team at the hospital who treat bladder problems.

September is Urology Awareness Month

This is a yearly campaign organised by The Urology Foundation to shine the spotlight on problems affecting the female urinary system and the male genitourinary tract. An estimated one in two of us will be affected by a urology condition in our lifetime.

During September, the foundation hopes to continue to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of urology problems whilst helping to break down the stigmas associated with some conditions. In addition to this, The Urology Foundation hopes to raise money to fund vital research and training into these conditions.

What does urology mean?

Your urology health relates to the 'urogenital system' in both men and women. These are the parts of your body responsible for producing, storing and discharging urine (kidneys, bladder, urethra) and the parts of your body involved in sexual function (prostate, penis, and testicles).

What conditions does urology cover?

Urological conditions include some of the most common serious diseases in the UK - such as prostate cancer, kidney problems and incontinence. Other diseases include bladder cancer, testicular cancer, kidney stones, interstitial cystitis and urinary tract infections.

Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in men in most developed countries including the UK. The lifetime risk of prostate cancer in men in Europe and North America is about 30%.

While prostate cancer is distressing and could be fatal if left untreated, it's important to know that many men die with, rather than from, prostate cancer. The risk of dying from prostate cancer is only around 3% - and many cases do not warrant treatment.

Lifestyle changes and treatment to support conditions

For some there might be a simple solution. It might just be a dietary change which is needed, for instance, someone might be drinking too many fizzy drinks or caffeine, resulting in a need to go to the toilet frequently or urgently. For others the problem might be that they need to drink more as not drinking enough can result in frequent urine infections.

Other problems can be treated with bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, medication and in some cases surgical intervention and for some patients it will be a combination of options.

Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) treatment

At Benenden Hospital, we offer a service called Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation. The treatment involves inserting a small, slim needled electrode near the ankle. The needle electrode is then connected to a battery powered stimulator. Mild impulses from the stimulator travel through the needle electrode, along the leg and to the nerves in the pelvis that control bladder function.

This is for private patients only (other urological and continence care services are open to private patients, members of Benenden Health and NHS patients through the e-referral scheme).

Patients have an initial consultation followed by a series of 12 weekly sessions and then a re-assessment. Sessions last 30 minutes, during which patients can relax in a chair. PTNS is offered to patients for whom conservative treatments have not worked and who might not want or might not be considered to need more invasive procedures.

An estimated 70% of patients respond positively to PTNS. Jan Chaseley, Specialist Nurse for continence care at Benenden Hospital, said: “The introduction of PTNS has enhanced the excellent treatment options available for our patients and is carried out in the nurse-led clinic.”

When to seek help

Continence Care Nurse, Mary Barker, says: “No-one really wants to talk about their bladder problems, but we have found that men are more reluctant than women to come forward although it has got better over the years. There are now articles in magazines and there are posters on the doors of public toilets. People are more willing to talk about it and it’s not as taboo as it used to be."

It’s time to seek help when bladder issues begin to affect your daily routine. In the first instance, you should see your GP. If necessary, your doctor could then refer you to a consultant or a nurse led continence care service, such as the one at our hospital.

Where can I find support and treatment?

The Urology Foundation offers a number of bitesize guides on other urinary issues including kidney, bladder and male reproductive organs.

At Benenden Hospital, our expert Consultants offer a range of support for a range of urology treatments in a comfortable and reassuring environment. As a urology outpatient or inpatient, our compassionate team will make sure you have a speedy diagnosis and treatment in one place.

Specialist Nurse, Jan Chaseley, has been working at Benenden Hospital for 21 years and covers urogynaecology and urology here. “It is a very rewarding role, as bladder symptoms can have a major impact on people’s quality of life- and I really feel we make a difference!”

Don’t wait to get on top of your health

Join our Promoting Continence for women webinar on 6 October at 7pm to learn about female urinary incontinence from Consultant Gynaecologist, Mr Abhishek Gupta and Nurse Specialist, Jan Chaseley.

For male urology, join our Urolift webinar on 10 November at 6pm with Consultant Urological Surgeon, Mr Steve Garnett.

To book a urology appointment, complete our online enquiry form or contact our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Published on 03 September 2021