What is Male Urinary Incontinence?
Bladder (or urinary) incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk about urinary incontinence. In fact, this often prevents people from getting the help they need to live an active lifestyle. More than 3 million men suffer from incontinence-this is a common problem, and there are treatments available.
There are several different types of Male Incontinence:
Stress Incontinence: The accidental release of urine when pressure is applied to the bladder, such as when you cough, sneeze, laugh or lift something heavy. This is the most common type of incontinence after prostate cancer surgery.
Urge Incontinence: When the bladder contracts at the wrong time giving you the feeling that you have to urinate immediately even if you may have just emptied your bladder.
Overflow Incontinence: Characterized by leaking when the bladder does not empty properly. This can be due to other medical conditions such as an enlarged prostate or a narrowing of the urethra.
Total Incontinence: Continual leakage of urine due to complete sphincter deficiency.
What causes Male Urinary Incontinence?
Incontinence may occur if:
- The sphincter is too weak
- The bladder muscles contract strongly
- The bladder is not emptied regularly
In men, urinary incontinence is most often related to a medical problem or a treatment involving:
- The prostate gland
- Enlargement prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH)
- Prostate removal due to cancer
- Infections or medications
- Urethral structures
- DESD (Detrusor External Sphincter Dyssynergia)
- Pelvic trauma
- Spinal cord damage
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurological disorders
How is Male Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed?
Medical History and Exam
- Your past and present health problems
- Over-the-Counter and prescription drugs you usually take
- Your diet
- How much and what kinds of liquids you drink daily
- Physical Exam: for men, a physical exam may include checking your abdomen, prostate, and rectum.
Bladder Diary This can keep track of your day-to-day symptoms. You will record what fluids you drink and how often you go to the bathroom. You also need to note when you have leaks. Include what you were doing when the leak happened, such as exercising, coughing or sneezing.
- Urinalysis: A urine sample in the office to test for infection or blood in the urine.
- Uroflow: Measures the flow and force of your urine stream and is often performed in patients who experience problems with urination.
- Bladder Scan: A non-invasive ultrasound test performed in the office that assesses the ability of the bladder to empty
- UroCuff: Non-Invasive pressure flow test performed in the office to determine whether the prostate, bladder or both are causing the urinary trouble
- Cystoscopy: A procedure performed in the office to assess the prostate and bladder and look for signs of obstruction that may cause urinary symptoms.
Learn about how UroCuff can help diagnosethe source of bladder problems here.