Male incontinence map launches to ease stress and anxiety men face in public

In February this year, we launched the “Dispose with Dignity” campaign in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK, aiming to tackle the taboo around male incontinence in the UK and increase the number of bins available for men to change their products.

One in eight men will get prostate cancer, rising to one in four for Black men. Of the over 475,000 men living with or after prostate cancer in the UK, many will experience urinary incontinence as a side effect of treatment for the disease[1].

The campaign shines a light on the hundreds of thousands of men in the UK who suffer in silence. One of the main issues that cause men to stress is a lack of adequate facilities to change their incontinence pads in public. Our research showed that this was leading to anxiety, social isolation, and mental health issues, and it simply isn’t good enough.

This is why we have created a map, that can show every male incontinence bin that we have provided to businesses across the UK, and where men can access the basic hygiene facilities that they need. The map highlights every phs customer that has installed the bin, and this is just the first step in our effort to minimise the stress that men undergo when they’re out and about trying to get on with their lives after they’ve received life-saving treatment for prostate cancer.

We hope this will make a big difference to those experiencing urinary incontinence, but we need more businesses to support our Dispose with Dignity campaign and provide men with the facilities they need.

Our research paper, co-authored with Prostate Cancer UK uncovers the alarming truth about the widespread prevalence of male urinary incontinence across the UK, and the taboo causing silent suffering in men.

Binning the taboo: disposing with dignity, reveals that more than half (51%) of the 2,000 men surveyed, of all ages, have experienced symptoms associated with urinary incontinence. This is leaving nearly eight in 10 men who experience incontinence anxious to leave the house because there aren’t enough adequate facilities to change their incontinence products in public. Our research results were startling:

  • over a third of men (34%) had found it hard to locate a hygiene bin in a public toilet to throw away used incontinence pants and pads.
  • nearly eight in 10 men (78%) feel anxious about leaving home due to a lack of facilities.
  • one in four men (28%) feel depressed about the deterioration of their lives, rising to 100 per cent of men with the condition under the age of 25.
  • over a third (38%) leave home less often, contributing to feelings of social isolation.

Despite the hundreds of thousands of men this affects, a lack of understanding and conversation around the issue has created a taboo that is both impacting men’s mental and physical health and resulting in men not having the facilities they need to live life to the full. 

Our vision, along with Prostate Cancer UK, is to help men to live well and build a future where men’s lives are no longer limited by incontinence.

Together, we've created a new male incontinence bin for public and private washrooms that enables men to dispose of their incontinence pads and products safely, hygienically and with dignity. 

Whilst incontinence or sanitary bins, in general, are not new, a dedicated bin for male incontinence products is a new concept. Current guidelines call for sanitary bins to be provided in female toilets in public and in workplaces, but there is no such provision for men, and so phs have taken matters into their own hands by providing one and encouraging businesses to provide them for customers and staff. It is also worth noting men’s incontinence products (e.g., nappies and pads) are larger, and so require a different size of bin and aperture in the lid to allow products to pass through, so the product itself is also a new design to bins provided currently in female and disabled loos.   

If you want to support our campaign to Dispose With Dignity, you can find out more on our campaign page, or get in touch with us to provide a male incontinence bin to your team or customers. You will be repaid with loyalty by so many customers, with three in four saying they would choose a business supportive of men with incontinence issues more regularly.

It is time to bin this taboo, systematically remove the barriers that incontinent men experience daily and provide new solutions in doing so. Ensuring men across the UK have access to a male incontinence bin in public facilities is the first step on this journey. It is time to make a change and enable men to “Dispose with Dignity”.

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