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Thread: The visit to my urologist that I'd been dreading.

  1. #1

    Default The visit to my urologist that I'd been dreading.

    Had my six monthly check up with my urologist today and it went more or less as I thought it would. After the usual pleasantries and questions (any UTI's etc) he asked if I was having any problems with my external catheters. This was the moment I hadn't been looking forward to but I bit the bullet and said I'd switched to nappies a couple of months ago. His reaction was much what I expected - a look of horror! He asked what my reasons were for the switch so I told him they felt more natural than a condom cath, were much more comfortable to wear, I didn't have to worry about a blow off or the bag tube getting a kink and in general I just felt better in myself. I didn't so far as to say I actually enjoy wearing nappies!

    He replied that I was a little young for nappies (makes a change from being considered too old, lol), external catheters were cleaner, posed less risk of infection and were better for my dignity.

    That last remark made me a little cross so I said there's not much dignity in having a condom glued to my penis, peeing through a tube and having a bag of urine sloshing against my leg. I also said a nappy was less noticeable than a full leg bag.

    He still wasn't happy and said I should give it more thought to which I said I've practically done nothing else but think of my bladder for the past thirty years and I felt nappies were now giving me the freedom to do more and enjoy life to the full so as far as I was concerned they were now my preferred choice of bladder management. He made it fairly obvious that he thought I was mad but I'm glad I told him.

    What is it about urologists that makes them see wearing nappies as a sign of failure? If only they could understand that the most important thing is quality of life, not the way we manage incontinence. Anyway, rant over - I won't have to see him for another six months, although I'm curious as to what he'll write to my GP.

  2. #2


    This topic comes up quite a bit on incon boards/forums. I've experienced it myself. Urologists would rather cut you open and perform risky surgery that may or may not work (or prescribe catheters and expensive drugs with various side effects that may or may not work) than go this route. In their eyes, it's tantamount to admitting defeat. However, in the end, it's up to you how you manage your incontinence and if you feel comfortable with diapers and the doctor is giving you a hard time about it, it's time to find a different doctor.

    Most Urologists, unfortunately, view diapers as a last resort. "Diaper stigma" is good term for it. It's ingrained in many of us by parents when toilet training. Diaper dependence or accidents = bad boy or girl. Making it to the potty = good boy or girl. Add to the reports out there in mainstream publications and media claiming "dignified" baby boomers in their golden years have their self-esteem affected by having to wear a diaper and you get a lot of negativity associated with it. For that reason, I'm careful about talking about my urge incontinence and how I choose to manage it when in the company of any doctor.

  3. #3


    In my opinion, your urologist should have been sensitive enough to appreciate that which makes you the most comfortable. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

  4. #4


    And doesn't all of that make you want to switch urologists? Just out of curiosity (and ignorance), if you're fully incontinent, and you've found a way to manage with diapers, why even still see a urologist?

  5. #5


    I think you scaring the doctor. Unless you have infections. You really don't need to see him? Because he getting payed each time you come in. He might be losing one more customer. While before you had to get condom catheter.

  6. #6


    Oh boy... memories ... grumble...

    I've been IC my entire life... and a bedwetter on top of that.

    So naturally I have been to numerous Urologists over the years and probably had every possible "treatment" aside from surgery (not an option in my case...)

    And yes some Urologists are basically horrified with anyone younger than 70 choosing to wear nappies, pads, etc.

    I tried the condom-thing - and whilst it has some level of convenience, I was having issues with the adhesives, the wrap around my penis all day long, etc... the tube blocking, blow-offs, etc... not to mention the leg bag.
    In some scenarios I think it's a good an viable option. but comfy? or "dignifying" meh... not really.

    I've had a similar reaction from a doc years ago and basically told him to shove his ideas up his... asked him whether he is actually Incontinent or not - of course he was not.... so I told him that he has no idea how it is to deal with it all day long, and that it's none of his business for what kind of option I go, as long as it WORKS FOR ME, and that thus he can keep his "OPINION" to himself and limit his verbal output to valuable medical advice.

    I changed doc after that... my current one is quite good and has no issues with pads, pull-ups or nappies.

    - - - Updated - - -


    About seeing a doctor when you're IC and the "diagnosis" has been done...
    Seeing if there's any new options... checking if there's any problem like retention, etc...
    there's plenty of reasons.

  7. #7


    Seems like quite a few people has had the same opposition to diapers from their urologists as I had. It's ok for a urologist to say what's best theoretically for IC management but as others here have said, we know what's best for our own particular situation and lifestyle. I've gone along with medical opinion for years and have tried just about every option out there, including major surgery and it's time I followed my own instincts so that I can live happily with IC. And wearing nappies makes me VERY happy so here I am, merrily trickling in my nappy as I'm typing and feeling good about it.

    To those who ask why I don't just switch urologist or bother seeing them at all:
    My IC was caused by a spinal chord injury so seeing a urologist is par for the course. Here in the UK we don't pay for such treatment and we don't get to choose who we want to see. I need to continue to see a urologist because I've had a lot of strictures following surgery and although I had a clam cystoplasty my bladder has shrunk over the years. This situation is monitored regularly and I'm also checked for kidney issues etc. As EPO1 said, retention is also something that's monitored. Also, by being on a specialist's list, if I have problems I can phone up and be seen quite quickly as opposed to having to be put on a referral list and wait maybe months. Finally, the urologist also deals with ED drugs and surgery, so it can be quite handy to know one! hope that gives you an insight as to why regular contact with a urologist is important, even after a diagnosis has been made.

    I raised the topic because I wanted to vent a little and see what reaction other DLs had got from their docs. Anyway, I'm now a full time nappy boy and happy to remain that way

  8. #8


    my doctors visits with urologists and gastrointestinal doctors have gone the same way. I have noticed more push back with male doctors then female doctors. i even remember when I was a kid, having to try a new medication, new test, invasive procedure and even surgery. I'm glad catheters where never tried as a long term option because I do remember serious kidney and uti's developing as a kid and still get them and since I'm already prone, I'd have been more at risk. I remember a couple occasions where I needed to be catheterized and throwing a large fit because I was scared of having it up my wee wee. I had to be sedated and one time managed in all the commotion, to pull the catheter out causing separation of the urethra from the bladder and damage to the urethra its self. anyhow. it is rather annoying to have to defend your choice especially given how humiliating and embarrassing and stigmatized diapers already are. for me I had gotten to a point where my doctors stopped prodding but then I moved and I'm fretting over the idea if having to find new doctors and go through this all over again.

  9. #9


    Sounds as though you went through one heck of a rough time when you were a kid waslost, it's amazing that you should have turned out to be such a compassionate, level headed guy. I think one of the main problems with urologists is that they try to prescribe what's best for a patient according to text books or 'good practice', when in fact they should treat a patient as a 'whole', not just a malfunctioning bladder or bower and consider not only what's best for an individual's circumstances but what that person's comfortable with. Surgery is all well and good but there are times when all we want is something that we can live with comfortably and is effective. Maybe all urologists should go through a period of incontinence as part of their training! I hope your new doctors accept the fact that you're comfortable with diapers and won't try to push their ideas on you. Although, judging by your lifetime of experience I think you'll give them a run for their money.

  10. #10



    He still wasn't happy and said I should give it more thought to which I said I've practically done nothing else but think of my bladder for the past thirty years and I felt nappies were now giving me the freedom to do more and enjoy life to the full so as far as I was concerned they were now my preferred choice of bladder management. He made it fairly obvious that he thought I was mad but I'm glad I told him.

    I'm neither IC or a doctor, but I am a professional so I understand how important it is to listen and comprehend what my clients are trying to tell me. Your statement about nappies giving you freedom to do more and enjoy life pretty much says it all! Anyone with even the most rudimentary listening skills would understand that in your mind the problem is solved! I commend you for holding your ground with this insensitive dunce!

    You use the word nappies - are you in Great Britan? If so, do you have the option of switching to a more understanding urologist with your national health plan?

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