Marking a Milestone in World Continence Week

04 June, Tim Burton - 

World Continence Week (WCW) is organised every June by the World Federation of Incontinence Patients. It is a global initiative intended to raise awareness of bladder weakness and to remove the stigmas and taboos that so often come along with continence problems.

This WCW (17-23 June) we are celebrating a milestone. For 15 years Botox has been used as a treatment for patients with overactive bladder (OAB), which is a form of incontinence. This breakthrough came about in part thanks to research by The Urology Foundation (TUF) and it has transformed millions of lives worldwide ever since.

Overactive bladder is a terrible disease

OAB affects around 1 in 8 people in Britain. That’s more than asthma and it’s more than diabetes. For those roughly 8 million people with OAB, holding their bladder is very difficult. People with OAB can find themselves rushing to the toilet at any point in the day.

Recent research has revealed that lack of public toilets is deterring 1 in 5 people from venturing from their homes and this figure rises to nearly half (43%) of people with medical conditions that require frequent toilet use. No doubt many of these people suffer from OAB.

The reticence to leave the home is understandable. For people with OAB, a desperate urge to go to the toilet can come at any moment, which makes life very difficult. Going to the cinema, to sports events, theatre performances, taking long walks, or even taking part in long meetings can be very difficult as frequent toilet trips will be required.

The solution is one of the world’s most deadly toxins

OAB is a condition that can be treated with drugs, but for a lot of patients, these treatments are not very effective. Fifteen years ago TUF funded Mr Arun Sahai, who conducted the world’s first ever level 1 double blind placebo controlled trial of Botox as a treatment for idiopathic OAB.

Botox is one of the world’s most deadly toxins and has the effect of paralysing a muscle. When it’s used on a bladder that has weakened muscles (leading to OAB) it makes the muscles stronger and allows a patient to hold their bladder in the same way that a healthy bladder would normally.

Thanks in part to this research, Botox has been in use as a treatment for OAB for 15 years. Millions of patients across the world who have failed to respond to drugs treatments have now had their lives transformed by Botox treatment instead.

Receiving Botox as a treatment once every 9 months allows patients with OAB to live normal lives, with no rushing to the bathroom required.

Join the celebration

For World Continence Week we want to raise awareness of how common continence diseases like OAB are so that no one will feel that they have to suffer in silence. Our message is simple: don’t suffer in silence, treatments are available!

Join in by helping us to share this message using #WorldContinenceWeek. If you yourself have personally benefitted from Botox treatment, share your story and celebrate with us using #Botox15.

Together we will beat the stigma and taboos surrounding incontinence.

If you find yourself rushing to the toilet often, as well as going to see your GP, you might benefit from one of our Need to Pee cards.

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