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Male Incontinence

Understanding Male Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects around 1 in 5 men over the age of 65. It can significantly impact quality of life and lead to embarrassment, isolation, and even depression. The good news is that there are many effective treatment options available. Let’s explore the causes, diagnosis, and treatments for male urinary incontinence.

What Causes Urinary Leakage in Men?

There are several potential causes of urinary incontinence in men:

Types of Urinary Incontinence

Determining the type of incontinence is key to finding the right treatment. Common types include:

Urine leakage when coughing, laughing, exercising or lifting heavy objects. This is often caused by weakened pelvic muscles.

Strong, sudden need to urinate followed by leakage. This is caused by bladder muscle spasms.

Frequent dribbling due to the bladder not emptying fully.

Inability to make it to the bathroom in time due to mobility issues.

A combination of stress and urge urinary incontinence.

Diagnosing the Cause of Leaks

To pinpoint the reason for urinary incontinence, your doctor may recommend:

Discuss symptoms, medications, medical conditions, and lifestyle factors.

Assess prostate, bladder, and neurological function.

Check for infection or blood.

Measures urine left after voiding.

A camera inside the urethra and bladder.

Uses soundwaves to image the bladder.

Measures bladder pressure and urine flow.

Effective Treatment Options

The good news is, there are many ways to manage male urinary incontinence, including:

Non-Surgical Approaches

  • Absorbent products – pads, guards, or drip collectors manage leakage
  • Catheters – drain urine from the bladder
  • Penile clamps – squeeze the urethra shut preventing leakage
  • Pelvic floor exercises – strengthen pelvic muscles
  • Timed voiding – urinate on a scheduled basis
  • Fluid management – limit intake of caffeine and alcohol
  • Medications – treat underlying causes or relax the bladder

Minimally Invasive Surgery

  • Male slings – support the urethra preventing urine leakage
  • Artificial urinary sphincter – an implanted device that keeps the urethra closed
  • Injectable bulking agents – substances injected to bulk up and close the urethra

Coping with Leaks

While finding the ideal treatment, there are ways to manage urinary incontinence:

The Bottom Line

Urinary incontinence can be frustrating and embarrassing, but help is available. Through proper diagnosis, lifestyle changes, medications or minimally invasive surgery, most men can significantly improve their urinary control and quality of life. Speak to your urologist to explore your treatment options.

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