We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip main navigation

Do bladder and bowels get sufficient media and government recognition?

Watch this video in which writer Melanie Reid offers her views on the place of bladder and bowel in the media and with policy-makers.
2.8
Do you think that having a bladder and bowel disfunction gets the recognition that it should? Of course it doesn’t. No. I mean it’s the great unsayable. I’m a journalist, I’m a frontline journalist, I’ve also been an Editor, I know exactly how desk Editors react if you say, “I want to talk about bladder or bowel incontinence or function or malfunction”. They look at you as if you’ve got five heads. Its “Woah I’m not putting that in the paper!” You know, no way is that sexy enough to put in the mainstream media. That’s not what will sell newspapers because 90% of able-bodied people will look at it and go “Whah, I don’t want to read about that!”
53.1
Yet we cannot, and we seem unable to have the will to divert enough funding into what is an essential bodily function which fails as we grow older. It is potentially as important as Dementia but because it’s pee and poo, particularly pee, we don’t want to talk about it. Politicians don’t want to talk about it because it doesn’t win them any votes. I think we have to start talking about bladders and bowels in the same way as we are now talking about Dementia.
92.7
The whole sort of growing old thing and you know - Cancer Research advertising and saying that one day there will be a cure for all cancers, no one will die of cancer, no but then they are just gonna die of bladder and bowel problems. We need someone to publicise the fact that, someone to investigate on behalf of the Government and to publicise the fact that far too much money is being spent reactively on bladder, in particular, bladder problems on continence amongst the elderly, amongst disabled people and that if there were better solutions, I am sure there will be a far greater costs benefit, and this would also spare an awful lot of human misery.
Journalist and Association for Continence Advice Patron Melanie Reid says:
‘bladder and bowel dysfunction … is the great unsayable’.

Your task

Watch this interview with Melanie and consider your own views:
  1. Do you think that bladder and bowel problems are recognised enough?
  2. Do you think bladder and bowel are an unseen epidemic compared to dementia?
  3. Where should future research funds be targeted?
Share your thoughts with fellow learners.
This article is from the free online

Understanding Continence Promotion: Effective Management of Bladder and Bowel Dysfunction in Adults

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education