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Watch out – there is an Elephant in the GP Waiting Room!

GPs can tackle the Elephant in the Room

At last some great news for the NHS to counter reports of poor care, budget cuts and postcode lotteries affecting treatment and patient choice.

GPs throughout the UK now have a new low-cost weapon in their armoury to help challenge the last great health taboo. A new campaign will hopefully encourage GPs and their patients to discuss a fast effective treatment that will save the NHS millions of pounds and enable scarce resources to be used more effectively.

Every GP surgery in the UK has been sent information about The Elephant in the Room campaign with copies of a poster encouraging their patients to discuss Stress Incontinence - one of the most common medical conditions affecting women today – especially new and older mothers.

According to NICE, between half and two thirds of the women visiting their GP surgery are suffering from Urinary Stress Incontinence (USI). Yet NICE suggests that as few as 2% are seeking help and advice for the condition.

NICE believe that the reasons for this are twofold: embarrassment of a topic still regarded as taboo, and the belief that there is no effective treatment.

In reality, USI is one of the most common problems affecting women and there is a simple cost-effective treatment that involves just 5 minutes exercise a day.

The Elephant in the Room campaign is sponsored by SPM Ltd, manufacturers of The PelvicToner™ Progressive Resistance Vaginal Exerciser. The PelvicToner™ is the only clinically proven pelvic toning device available on prescription and has been available to GPs since January 2011 with a great track record.

The PelvicToner™ is considerably cheaper and more effective than options such as a long course of physiotherapy, drugs or surgery. As a self-help device that can be used without supervision, the PelvicToner offers a non-invasive, simple and very effective option. This makes it the ideal medical device to offer in primary care and is especially relevant for post-natal pelvic floor rehabilitation and when women first present with problems caused by pelvic floor muscle weakness.

In clinical trials the PelvicToner was shown to be as effective as the main option recommended by NICE - a three month course of Physiotherapist Supervised Pelvic Floor Muscle Training (at a fraction of the cost). The PelvicToner significantly improves muscle tone and strength in a matter of days and the rapid alleviation of USI symptoms dramatically increases compliance with the exercise programme. Many physiotherapy departments now recommend the PelvicToner in the first instance enabling them to divert scarce manpower to more urgent cases.

USI is particularly prevalent in new mothers and women over 50 but the lack of appropriate information leads most women to believe that they are unusual with the result that they suffer in silence. NICE estimates that it is typically 10 years before a sufferer seeks help by which stage cure is all the more difficult.

The PelvicToner is also relevant wherever pelvic floor weakness is the problem, including prolapse and sexual dysfunction.

The new Elephant in the Room campaign aims to raise awareness of the simple treatment that is available and to encourage dialogue between sufferer and GP. Every GP practice in the UK has been sent an information leaflet and poster.

Further information
Editorial contact: Barry Fowler or 0117 974 3534 or 07768 233 670


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