Urinary incontinence is experienced by both men and women and causes accidental leakage of urine. It’s not a disease but a symptom of an underlying condition. Incontinence in women is more commonly discussed but it happens in men too. Older men are more likely to experience incontinence than younger men. Here are the common causes and treatments of incontinence in men.
Types of Male UI
It’s also referred to as an overactive bladder. It’s leakage that occurs along with a strong sudden need to urinate or void. Because of the sudden urge, the person may not be able to get to the bathroom in time causing accidental leakage.
Leakage in this case occurs when the person strains the muscles responsible for urinary control. Strain can be caused by coughing, sneezing, exercising, or straining when lifting something heavy. It’s most commonly caused by damage to the urinary sphincter because of prostate treatments like radiation, cryotherapy, and surgery.
It’s also called incontinence without sensation. The bladder empties with no accompanying sensation so that the person doesn’t even realize it has happened. It’s associated with over-distention of the bladder from obstruction or poor bladder functioning resulting in urine overflow.
This refers to temporary incontinence as a result of something like a urinary tract infection which once treated passes.
This occurs when physical disabilities or difficulty communicating your need to urinate prevent you from getting to the toilet in time.
This refers to when incontinence falls into two or more categories.
Causes and risk factors
Age: The likelihood of developing incontinence increases with age.
Obesity: Extra weight around your midsection can place undue pressure on your bladder.
Medical conditions: Prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, and diabetes can cause UI and their treatments can also trigger it.
Neurological issues: Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis which can interfere with bladder control signals.
Birth defects: In the event that your urinary tract didn’t form correctly during fetal development.
Lack of physical activity
Common causes of urinary incontinence
- Chronic cough
- Bladder or urinary tract infections
- An obstruction in the urinary tract
- Weak pelvic floor or bladder muscles
- Loss of sphincter strength
- Nerve damage
- Enlarged prostate
- Prostate cancer
- Neurological disorders which can interfere with bladder control signals
- Not being physically active
Treatment and management for male incontinence
Treatment depends on the cause and the degree of severity as determined by a medical practitioner.
Behavioural adjustments such as changes to your diet, lifestyle, and urinary habits.
Kegel exercises to help you take control of your leaky bladder. Check out this article on Kegel exercises.
Medication: Taking certain medications or stopping certain medications can help stop it.
Use of special absorbent pads, diapers and underwear.
Surgery and implanted devices can be used to control it. Surgery is the best treatment for some men who have incontinence.
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