Let’s face it. As a man, there are probably things you just do NOT want to talk about. Incontinence is probably one of those topics, but the truth is that if you are suffering with incontinence, you must deal with it. So continue reading and consider it the guy’s guide to male incontinence. Then your next step will be to talk to one of our providers about it!
What Might Be Causing It
Male incontinence is the involuntary or accidental leakage of urine, and it is most likely a symptom of another condition which causes loss of bladder control.
One of the first things you should know about incontinence is that you’re not alone. 11 to 34 % of older men can suffer from it, translating to about 5 million men.
Involuntary contractions of your bladder muscles or what is known as an overactive bladder is a leading cause and is quite common in men. Sometimes it may only be a slight dribble, but with urge incontinence you have the urge to go, though you leak before you can make it to the bathroom.
This can be caused by an enlarged prostate gland. What makes it worse is that you can be triggered by things such as running water, going into a cold room, or just getting up out of a chair.
If you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, or lift a heavy object, you most likely have stress incontinence. This is quite common after prostate surgery or treatment for cancer. Prostate removal weakens the nerves around the bladder and pelvic floor muscles. Radiation can also cause damage to muscles making them weaker. Because of this, many doctors and patients decide to do “watchful waiting” for slow growing prostate tumors.
Diabetes, smoking, and excess weight can also be part of the problem.
Additional Causes Of Male Incontinence
Spinal injuries can also trigger male incontinence. If you are involved in a car or motorcycle accident, have had a stroke, or have Parkinson’s Disease there can be nerve damage causing the incontinence.
In particular, if you have had active combat duty, you have an increased risk of spinal cord injuries.
There are of course other possible reasons for your incontinence, but only your doctor can discover what those could be.
What Can You Do
There are some behavioral changes you can make to relieve some of the symptoms of male incontinence.
- Know what your beverage triggers are and avoid them. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in particular and especially if there isn’t a convenient bathroom available.
- Plan to urinate at regular intervals even if you don’t have the urge to go. Use the bathroom every 2 hours, for example.
- Lose some weight. You’ve been meaning to do that anyway, right? You are putting extra pressure on your bladder.
- Talk with one of our providers about Kegel exercises. They are not only for women.
- Stop smoking.
There are treatments, surgical procedures, and medications available today to help combat the problem. Now that you learned some critical information, it is time to take action.
Contact Southland Urology and discover how you can improve your symptoms of male incontinence.