Getting support for peeing problems

 

Some treatments for prostate cancer will cause problems with peeing. This may be:

 

Leaking tap icon

Leaking or dribbling pee

 

 

Man trying to pee into toilet

Problems passing pee.

 

 

Watch this short animation about getting support for peeing problems after treatment for prostate cancer. It talks about the different options available to you if you have peeing problems. 

The animation describes the experience of a man who has had surgery. However, the information is also relevant for people who have had other treatments. 

What support should you be offered for peeing problems?

 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidance on:

  • How different conditions should be treated.
  • What treatments should be made available.

Learn more about NICE and what they do by visiting their website (link will open in a new tab).

  • NICE has put together guidelines for the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. 
  • Please note that these are just guidelines and are not a legal requirement. 
  • However, you can use this information to help you to ask questions of your healthcare team. 

 

NICE guidelines on getting support for peeing

 

  • Not every hospital will have access to all services mentioned in the guidance. 
  • However, they may be able to refer you to services in a nearby hospital. 
  • Use our local services finder tool (link will open in a new tab) to find out what support services are available in your local area.

 

Continence services

Black man handing pee sample bottle to nurse

 

Many areas will have an NHS run continence service. These are often staffed by continence nurse specialists and continence advisors. 

 

What do they do?

They will ask you about the 

  • Problems you are experiencing
  • Your general health
  • Your medical history.

They will then be able to offer advice and treatment plans suitable for you. 

This may include:

  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Bladder training
  • Medication.

They can work with your GP for the prescribing of medication or devices. 

They can link with other healthcare professionals if you need more specialist treatment. 

 

How can I get referred?

  • You can ask your GP or hospital team to refer you 
  • You may also be able to self-refer. 
  • Check our local services tool to see what is available in your area. 

 

What can I do to help myself?

 

Pelvic floor exercises

In men, the pelvic floor goes from the tailbone (coccyx) to the pubic bone. It supports the bladder and bowel.

The tube that brings pee from your bladder to the outside is called the urethra. The urethra and the rectum pass through the pelvic floor muscles.  

Diagram of male pelvic floor

Why is the pelvic floor important?

The pelvic floor is important in:

  • Bladder and bowel control
  • Helping to keep an erection.

Pelvic floor exercises can help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. 

 

When should I start pelvic floor exercises?

  • You may be advised to start the exercises at least six weeks before your surgery. This can help to reduce leaking afterwards. 
  • After your surgery, you will have a tube going into your bladder to drain away the pee. This is called a catheter. 
  • You will need to stop the exercises while the catheter is in place. You can start again once the catheter has been taken out.

 

What if I need support with my exercises?

  • If you would like some support, you can be referred to a pelvic health physiotherapist.  
  • They will be able to assess your pelvic floor and make sure you’re doing your exercises correctly. 
  • Most NHS hospital trusts have a pelvic health physiotherapy service. 
  • You can usually self-refer. You can also get a referral from your GP, consultant or nurse specialist.
  • Click on the resources tab for more information on how to access a pelvic health physiotherapist privately. 

 

Physio talking to patient

 

 

 

What can you do if you can't access services or products in your area?

 

You may not be able to access free continence products or services in all areas. Ask you GP for more information.

  • You can also contact your local Integrated Care Board (ICB). The ICB sets prescribing policies locally. 
  • An ICB is also responsible for:
    • Managing the local NHS budget
    • Arranging the delivery of health and care services locally.

You can ask them:

  • What NHS continence services are available to you in your area.
  • Why you are unable to access free pads, pants or other continence products on prescription. 

  You can find their contact details on the NHS England website.

People sitting around a large table looking a Zoom screen

About this information

  • This information was published in June 2024. We will revise it in May 2026.
  • References and bibliography available on request.
  • If you want to reproduce this content, please see our Reproducing Our Content page (this link will open in a new external tab).

The toolkit is an information resource for people affected by prostate cancer. The development has been funded through an educational grant from Advanced Accelerator Applications (A Novartis Company).

Resources for pelvic health

Black man looking at a laptop

 

Information to read

Videos

Always get advice from your healthcare team before trying new exercises.

Apps

  • The Squeezy app is an NHS endorsed app that helps you to remember to do your exercises. 
  • It also has advice on how to do your exercises properly. 
  • There is a cost of £2.99. However, some hospitals are signed up to Squeezy connect. This allows your healthcare team to provide you with a free version. Ask you healthcare team for more details.
  • Vist the Squeezy website (this link will open in a new tab) for more information.  

 

Organisations providing help with peeing problems

Picture of full bladder with drip

Bladder Health UK

  • Bladder Health UK (link will open in a new tab) is a small national charity that gives support to people who have bladder-related problems. 
  • Their mission is to help people live positively with bladder illness through the provision of personalised support and care.
  • They have an advice line which is open 9.30 am until 2.30pm Monday to Friday. It is run by a recently retired uro-gynae nurse, a specialist continence nurse and an expert patient.
  • They have a network of support groups throughout the UK. People can speak to others who have similar issues face-to-face. This is only open to members of Bladder Health UK.
  • They also have message board forums on their website. 
  • Visit their website (link will open in a new tab) for more information. 

 

The Bladder and Bowel Community

  • The Bladder and Bowel Community (link opens in new external tab) is the UK-wide service for people with bladder and bowel control conditions.  
  • They provide information and support services, including a managed online support group, for anyone affected by these conditions. There is also information for families, carers and healthcare professionals. 
  • They can provide you with a physical or digital  ‘Just can’t wait’ (link opens in new external tab) toilet card.

 

Bladder and Bowel UK

  • Bladder and Bowel UK are part of an organisation called Disabled Living. Disabled Living is a registered charity which was established in 1897. They provide impartial information and advice about equipment and services for disabled individuals, their families and carers. Visit the Disabled Living website (link opens in a new external tab) for more information.
  • Bladder and Bowel UK work to improve awareness and find solutions to bladder and bowel problems. 
  • They have a helpline where you can receive advice on bladder and bowel health, continence promotion and options for managing incontinence, products, as well as signposting to services. 
  • You can contact the helpline team by completing the form on the Bladder and Bowel UK website (link opens in a new external tab). If you are not able to complete the form, you can call the helpline on 0161 214 4591. Calling their number will cost the standard rate. 
  • They also have a shop supplying continence and mobility products. This is run in partnership with with Countrywide Health & Mobility. 
  • Visit the Bladder and Bowel UK website (link opens in a new external tab) for more information.

 

Continence Product Advisor

  • The Continence Product Advisor is a collaboration between the International Consultation on Incontinence (ICI), the International Continence Society (ICS), University of Southampton and University College London. 
  • The Continence Product Advisor website is designed to give users, carers and healthcare professionals detailed, essential information about products for:
    • Bladder
    • Bowel
    • toileting problems. 
  • It is hosted and maintained by the International Continence Society.
  • the Continence Product Advisor provides information which is:
    • Evidence-based – including the product advisor, shown to improve confidence in product selection 
    • Independent – without industry sponsorship or brand promotion 
    • Comprehensive – a one-stop information resource covering all key product designs 
    • Not for profit and freely available – with downloadable resources 
  • Find out more by visiting the Continence Product Advisor website (link will open in a new tab).

About this information

  • This information was published in June 2024. We will revise it in May 2026.
  • References and bibliography available on request.
  • If you want to reproduce this content, please see our Reproducing Our Content page (this link will open in a new external tab).

The toolkit is an information resource for people affected by prostate cancer. The development has been funded through an educational grant from Advanced Accelerator Applications (A Novartis Company).

Share your story with others

By sharing your story you can help others. Share what went well, what didn't and everything in between. Your experience is valuable. Help make the prostate cancer community stronger.

Share story