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Men with urinary incontinence anxious due to lack of facilities

Nearly eight in ten men with urinary incontinence are anxious about leaving the house due to a lack of facilities to change incontinence products, a new study has found

Nearly eight in ten men with urinary incontinence are anxious to leave the house due to a lack of facilities to change incontinence products, a new study has found.

Out of the 2036 men who were asked about the challenges they face when using public washroom facilities, 34% had found it hard locating a hygiene bin to dispose their incontinence pants or pads.

Men are resorting to taking a bag with them when they go out which they can empty when they get home, wearing pads longer or even flushing them down the toilet.

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‘The anxiety around going out and the stress of not being able to dispose of pads, or fearing smelling of urine, turned me into a hermit.

‘The isolation and the experience affected me mentally,’ said Steve Baughan.

Mr Baughan became incontinent after undergoing a radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer , the pressure of not being able to find anywhere to dispose of the products caused him to not leave the house.

He said: ‘Thankfully I am fine now as I made a steady recovery from incontinence, and was given great support by Prostate Cancer UK, but I believe it’s up to businesses and organisations to step up to support men like me.’

More than 475,000 men are living with or after prostate cancer in the UK and many will experience urinary incontinence.

However, the new data showed that 32% of Brits did not know prostate cancer treatment could even cause the condition.

Therefore, the largest UK men’s health charity, Prostate Cancer UK in partnership with hygiene service provider, phs Group have launched a campaign called ‘Dispose with Dignity’, to tackle the taboo surrounding male incontinence.

It includes measures to ensure men have proper access to essential facilities and products, including changing HSE guidance to make it mandatory for there to be at least one male incontinence bin in public washrooms.

Nick Ridgman, head of health information and clinical support at Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘Together with phs Group, our “Dispose with Dignity” campaign will tackle the taboo, ensuring political decision-makers hear the voices of men across the country who want change.’

A new male incontinence bin has also been designed by phs and Prostate Cancer UK, with companies such as Moto service stations, pledging to provide them to their staff and customers.

Nick Tatum, chief customer officer at Moto said: ‘For men living with urinary incontinence, travelling, and particularly long-distance travelling, can contribute to increased discomfort and the need to change incontinence products more frequently.’

‘This is why we’re partnering with phs to bring discreet male incontinence product bins to our sites.

‘We hope that in doing so our male visitors know that Moto is a service station they can rely on to provide a safe space for dignified disposal of their incontinence products.’