September is Urology Awareness Month

August 09,2021 |
Young boy talking to a nurse

Urologic conditions can affect anyone of any age and are becoming increasingly prevalent around the world. In an effort to increase awareness of urologic disease, raise money for research and training, and express the importance of early screening, The Urology Foundation deemed September as Urology Awareness Month. Throughout the month of September, The Urology Foundation partners with individuals, local communities, and businesses to help raise awareness that helps to break down the stigma and encourage people to prioritize their urology health.

Some Basic Information on Urology

It’s estimated that as many as 1 out of every 2 people will be affected by a urologic condition at some point throughout their lifetime. Regardless of who you are, keeping track of your urologic health is essential to catching problems early and increasing the success of treatments. The focus of urology includes the kidneys, bladder, prostate, and male reproductive organs.  

Kidney Health

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in America. Kidneys are responsible for removing toxins and waste from your body. Every day your kidneys filter over 150 liters of blood, making them essential for stabilizing blood pressure and balancing chemicals like salts and other substances.

When your kidneys aren't functioning properly you can develop kidney stones or other health complications like diabetes. Poor kidney health can also contribute to kidney failure, kidney cancer, glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and more. Eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and seeing your urologist regularly can help you keep your kidneys healthy, avoid kidney pain, and make sure these organs are functioning their best.

Bladder Health

Your bladder is a balloon-shaped muscle that sits at the bottom of your pelvis. It helps store and release urine. The bladder can be stretched by a number of things, including pregnancy or prostate enlargement in men. An enlarged prostate will push against the urethra (the tube through which urine flows) making it more difficult to void. Some other problems that affect the bladder include interstitial cystitis, overactive bladder syndrome, urinary tract infections, vesicoureteral reflux (VUR), bladder cancer, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, and more.

The symptoms of bladder problems can be different for each person. Some may have more frequent urination, while others might get symptoms like pain or burning when they urinate, blood in their urine, having to go constantly (or urgently), needing to push harder than normal on the toilet after finishing urination, or feeling that your bladder isn't emptying fully.

If you're having problems with bladder health, see your doctor as soon as possible. Many bladder-related issues can be treated to alleviate symptoms.

Prostate Health

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland found just below the bladder that helps produce semen. The most common issues with this organ are prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which can lead to problems like difficulty urinating and erectile dysfunction in men. A physician will diagnose BPH by performing a digital rectal exam or DRE.

Prostate cancer is a concern among aging men as it's one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Since early detection is paramount to survival rates with prostate cancer, it's important that you see your urologist regularly—especially after the age of 50 or if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family.

Male Reproductive Organs

At the time of puberty, male reproductive organs mature. This is when sperm production begins and can continue throughout the remainder of their life. At this point, it is important to understand how these parts work together to produce healthy sperm. The male reproductive organs include the testes and the penis. Some conditions that can affect male reproductive organs include penile cancer, phimosis, Peyronie's disease, testicular torsion, infertility, priapism, erectile dysfunction, varicoceles, hydrocele, blood in semen, and a vasectomy.

While talking about sexual issues can feel embarrassing or unnecessary, doing so can help you find the proper diagnosis and treatment plan. See your urologist if you experience anything out of the ordinary or have questions about performance-related issues. Many problems that affect the male reproductive organs can be treated and the sooner you begin this process, the more promising the outcome.

How to Get Involved in Urology Awareness Month

Showing your support for Urology Awareness Month to help banish the negative stigma associated with common urologic conditions is easier than you imagine. You can participate on an individual level, on a financial level, or get your company involved to exponentially increase awareness in the community. Remember, the most important part about Urology Awareness Month is spreading the word and raising awareness. If you help educate even one other person, you’ve helped advance The Urology Foundation’s efforts.

Spread the Word and Raise Awareness

Don't be afraid to talk about urology-related conditions with your friends and family. Instead, be open and communicate about family history, problems that affect your life, and the importance of getting screenings early. You never know who you might be helping by being honest and as we age, urology conditions become increasingly common amongst individuals. Share articles, blogs, or brochures on social media, at work, or in a community center near you. Even sharing this blog is a great first step.

By getting urology screenings and other preventative urologic care, you can help diagnose diseases when they are easier to treat. This includes things like prostate cancer screening, bladder infection testing, kidney function tests, or a testicular exam. Talk with your doctor about how often you should have these types of exams in order for them to be effective without being too invasive or inconvenient.

Start a Fundraiser

The Urology Foundation works to improve ongoing care, preventative screenings, and treatment for urologic conditions. This requires research and testing alongside investments in cutting-edge technology and specialized training. To help support Urology Awareness Month, start a fundraiser and STEP UP FOR TUF. This challenge can be done alone or with a team and allows people to sponsor you during the month of September as you continue to virtually climb a building or even a mountain. Donate now and support Urology Awareness Month with STEP UP FOR TUF or by making a contribution to The Urology Foundation.

Find a Local Event

If you'd prefer to participate in person, that's great too. Find urology events near you or consider starting your own event. You can organize a walk, run, bake sale, or even a simple community picnic. There are plenty of great ways to show support and raise awareness for Urology Awareness Month in your neighborhood or at your place of work.

Involve Your Company

Many companies find initiatives to support based on their employee interests. If you show your employer the importance of Urology Awareness Month, you can increase the likelihood that your company will get involved. The involvement doesn't have to be huge. A simple social media post or internal fundraising challenge can do wonders. It may also be beneficial to talk to your employer about making sure that everyone has time to get to the doctor during the week when they need to. Since many office hours fall within company time, employees often forego preventative doctor's visits to avoid using PTO or sick time. Speak with your company about extending lunch hours for those who need to undergo preventative screenings.

In addition to Urology Awareness Month, September 20 – 24 has been deemed Urology Week for 2021. This year’s theme is incontinence—a condition that affects up to 20% of the population.  

More Information on The Urology Foundation

The Urology Foundation was founded in 1995 and has been committed to ending the taboo and negative attitudes that surround urology ever since. To help encourage this change of mindset, Urology Awareness Month was launched in 2014. The Urology Foundation also focuses on early detection, increased awareness of common urology conditions, and fundraising efforts to fight the big five urologic cancers—prostate, bladder, kidney, penile, and testicular. Prevention, treatment, and management of urologic conditions is possible with the right information, which is why awareness is so crucial.

Byram Healthcare is a proud participant in Urology Awareness Month and Urology week. We strive to help improve healthy outcomes and affordability of care for people living with urologic conditions and diseases.  Byram can help you choose the right urology supplies and keep you informed about the latest product innovations. We carry one of the largest urologic catheter selections from all top manufacturers. Get started today by browsing our urology product catalog and learn more about the importance of maintaining good urologic health.