World Continence Week 2024



What is World Continence Week?

World Continence Week is an annual event that aims to raise awareness of incontinence related issues.

It occurs in June and this year will run from 17-23 June 2024.

You are not alone

This World Continence Week, we are highlighting that bladder problems and continence issues are very common. NHS estimates suggest 14 million people are living with bladder problems. That’s 1 in 5 people in the UK.

As an issue many people understandably may not wish to talk about, it can be a hidden condition. Many people are reluctant or embarrassed to discuss their toilet habits and often tolerate their symptoms. However, incontinence is a common condition and there are multiple ways to manage it. Therefore, it is important to consult the GP or healthcare professional to discuss treatment plans

People experiencing urinary incontinence may experience feelings of isolation, if their condition restricts them from living life as they would like to, embarrassment, intimacy issues. It can impact relationships and even employment, if the person is not able to participate in their job as they used to. It can significantly lower self-esteem and lead to a loss of independence in some cases.



Our campaign

With so many people experiencing bladder problems, we firmly believe that everyone should feel supported to reach out for help.

This World Continence Week, we’re launching a campaign that aims to:

  • challenge current assumptions about urinary incontinence and uncover the real ‘face of continence’
  • highlight that people of all ages and walks of life experience urinary incontinence
  • encourage people experiencing continence issues to understand that they are not alone, appreciate that help is available and speak to their healthcare professional for support

Spotlight on continence in the UK

    • 1 in 5 people in the UK experience bladder problems (14 million people).
    • Incontinence can impact people of all ages and walks of life
    • Around 34% of women are living with urinary incontinence
    • Over 2 million men experience urinary incontinence
    • £233 million- estimated annual cost to the NHS
    • Patients with incontinence are at increased risk of hospital acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs) and hospital acquired UTIs extends patients’ length of stay by six days
    • Over 50% of care home residents have urinary incontinence
    • Urinary incontinence is associated with falls, pressure ulcers, skin infections, social isolation and mental health issues
    • Incontinence is often a hidden problem

How we’re improving bladder health

The Urology Foundation funds innovative research into urinary incontinence and bladder issues. We provide funding for to further our understanding and improve outcomes for patients.

Research into Botox that was funded by The Urology Foundation changed the international standard of care for managing overactive bladder (OAB) – see further details on the project HERE. As a result of this research, and further studies based off the initial research we funded, Botox now appears as standard of care in all international guidelines for managing OAB, meaning that millions of people across the globe have access to effective treatment for a debilitating condition.

Between 2020 and 2022, The Urology Foundation has funded three projects looking at continence issues:

  • We provided funding to a research project that is looking at developing better materials for the pelvic floor by early detection of materials likely to promote fibrosis.
  • We funded researchers looking at the development and validation of intra-urethral intra-operative pressure measurement system for optimal sling tensioning (for better surgical procedures).
  • A research project we’re funding looked at promoting an understanding of pelvic mesh complications. We funded the development and validation of a condition-specific Patient Reported Outcome Measure (following the pelvic mesh scandal).


The Urology Foundation is keen to hear from those with ideas on improving practice in continence care


If you are a urology professional with an idea on how to improve practice in continence care, we provide grants to allow you to undertake the research needed. We provide a range of grants, more information can be found HERE .

Women’s bladder health

We know that around 34% of women are living with urinary incontinence. Certain things can increase the chances of urinary incontinence, including pregnancy and vaginal birth and the menopause. We know that a females’ bladder health can be impacted at many stages of life and we’re encouraging people not to stay silent but to seek support from their healthcare professional.


Men’s bladder health

Over 2 million males experience urinary incontinence in the UK. It could be for many different reasons. But symptoms don’t have to be ignored and tolerated. If you experience bladder problems, your healthcare professional can provide information and support.


Living beyond prostate cancer

Prostate cancer can have a profound impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of the people who experience it. The effects of prostate cancer treatment can bring new challenges. Urology health may not go back to normal immediately and new challenges can arise. We hear you and we understand that life may have changed but there can be help available.

We encourage anyone facing new challenges after prostate cancer to speak to your healthcare professional. For more information on our prostate cancer campaign, click HERE.


Get involved

Take action today!

If you’re affected by urinary incontinence, know someone who is, or if you’re involved in their care, we would love to hear from you.

  • Share your story with us – we know it is only through understanding the experiences of people affected by urology diseases, we can take action to drive real change. We’d love to hear from you about your experiences. Find out more about sharing your story here. We have a small team of people who would be delighted to hear from you. Contact us on and we can arrange a convenient time to talk.
  • Speak out – use hashtags #WorldContinenceWeek #WCW2024 to show others they’re not alone.