They tell me 80-85% of men experience urology problems by the age of 85. If you knew that you would take a little more notice before it happened to you. My experience of this started with urinary infection followed by using catheters 3 times a day as the prostate had grown over time causing urine to be retained and the infection. Committing to having the prostate shaved was a bit daunting as you find out about potential complications but it was time to get rid of the catheters and the tiresome regime of carrying boxes of goodies on holiday.
I was under prepared for the after effects of the prostate operation which was quite straight forward except for the need to use a permanent catheter for 4 weeks after the operation due to a cloudy fluid obscuring safe cleaning out of the bladder. After the protracted delay I found my bladder control was very poor with the need for large pads 6 or 7 times a day. After some telephone advice from the hospital I looked up pelvic floor exercises on Google and commenced work.
As everyone will tell you, with Pelvic Floor exercises it is very difficult to tell if you are doing it correctly. I took some advice from women who suffer with this problem after childbirth which helped a bit. For the first month progress was very slow or non-existent probably due to incorrect exercise. Expecting the NHS physiotherapy to react quickly enough to solve my problem was dismissed in my mind and confirmed when I thankfully found Gerard. The ultrasound pictures on the screen confirmed I was exercising correctly to engage my pelvic floor muscles and core muscles and gave me confidence I was doing the right thing for the first time. Moving from exercising lying to the vertical position leaning against a wall and sliding up and down a bit later was the real game changer.
Horizontal exercising, after a while, generated a nice feeling so you could tell you were doing it correctly between physio visits. Moving to a vertical position lost that feeling for a while and then standing away from the wall lost it again for a time. Today real progress has been made after 3.5 months 3 times a day engaging the pelvic floor moving from bulky women’s pads to smaller men’s pads and now trying to make do with kitchen roll.
If you have already had surgery you will already have left your blushes behind and you will be surprised by how many men are experiencing urology problems when you speak out. Don’t wait for the NHS to help you. You have to be persistent with the exercises and count the milestones along the way (it’s easy to forget) to encourage you to maintain the regime necessary for success. But it’s worth it.
Mr E ( Men's Health Patient , now back enjoying his sport)