Incontinence In Men

About male incontinence 

Urinary incontinence in men ranges from leaks after you have finished using the toilet, to having the feeling that your bladder is full. Some men may also experience urine leaks after prostate surgery. Urinary problems tends to affect social life and can lead to some men not wanting to be socially active.

Urinary incontinence is known to affect 5-10% of men over the age of 40 years. Prostate disease is one the main reasons that men experience urinary incontinence. Men with enlarged prostates experience urgency, a sudden and powerful urge to go to the toilet that gives one very little time to get to the bathroom. This can cause urine leaks. They also experience what is called frequency, which needs one to empty their bladder much more frequently than normal.

Understanding the problem will help you to know how best to talk with your doctor. In many cases the condition can be cured or managed. The whole idea is not to suffer in silence but to talk to your health care professional so that you can reclaim your active life.

Types of incontinence in men

There are five types of male incontinence:

  1. Stress incontinence : In this type of incontinence, urine leak happens when one coughs, laughs or lifts weight. The bladder is not strong enough to handle such small pressures that it is subjected to.
  2. Urge incontinence: This kind of incontinence occurs when there is a sudden and strong need to go to the toilet. But by the time one makes it to the toilet, urine leaks.
  3. Urinary Frequency: This is when one needs to empty the bladder much more frequently than normal.
  4. Overactive Bladder: Many men experience a combination of urinary urge and frequency. This condition is known as an overactive bladder syndrome.
  5. Overflow incontinence: This type of incontinence happens when an outlet obstruction( like an enlarged prostate) prevents one from fully emptying your bladder. The bladder overfills and leaks out the excess urine.

Causes for male incontinence

There are many factors that cause incontinence. There are the more common reasons discussed below.

Prostate surgery

Prostate enlargement and related problems are the most frequent causes of urinary incontinence in men.
The common prostate issues are:

  1. Prostatitis is infection of the prostate gland. This infection is more common with younger men.
  2. Benign prostatic hyperplasia where the prostate increases in size and hardness causing a tightening around the urethra that restrict the flow of urine. This problem usually affects middle age men. This problem also can cause incontinence in men.
  3. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men.  Though prostate cancer itself does not urinary incontinence, the  treatments used to cure the cancer often does. In most cases as the treatment stops, the incontinence problem reduces but in some cases it tends to prevail.

Other Causes

  • Side effects from some medications. 
  • Disability that effects your movement preventing you from getting to the toilet in time.
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes 
  • Progressive diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.

In many cases, incontinence can be cured and if it cannot be cured, it can always be managed.