Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer

Male Incontinence Treatment

What is Male Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional leakage of urine. It’s a common condition that many men find embarrassing to talk about. But it affects over 2 million men in the United States alone, so you are not alone!

Incontinence happens when the muscle that keeps the bladder closed, called the sphincter, becomes too weak to hold urine in. It can also occur if the bladder muscles squeeze too hard and force out urine. Or if the bladder doesn’t empty fully on a regular basis.

For men, incontinence is often tied to prostate issues. An enlarged prostate, prostate removal surgery, or prostate cancer treatments can all contribute to incontinence.

How the Bladder Works

To understand incontinence, it helps to know how the bladder functions normally. The bladder is an organ that stores urine made by the kidneys. Tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. Another tube, the urethra, lets urine exit the bladder and leave the body.

As urine collects in the bladder, it stretches the bladder walls. This triggers a message to the brain that you need to urinate. The brain tells the bladder muscles to squeeze and push out the urine. At the same time, the sphincter relaxes and opens to let urine flow through the urethra.

This coordination requires a complex interplay between bladder and sphincter muscles, nerves, and the brain. If any part of this system is damaged, it can lead to urine leakage, or incontinence.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

There are several factors that can contribute to urinary incontinence in men:

  • Prostate surgery, which can damage sphincter nerves
  • Medications that relax the bladder muscle
  • Diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis
  • Injuries to the pelvis or spinal cord
  • Anatomical problems like scar tissue or bladder stones

The specific cause will determine the type of incontinence experienced. A urologist can evaluate your symptoms and diagnose the issue.

Signs and Symptoms

Common signs of urinary incontinence include:

  • Leaking urine when you laugh, cough, sneeze or lift heavy objects
  • Sudden urges to urinate that you can’t control
  • Wetting the bed while sleeping
  • Needing to rush to the bathroom frequently
  • Dribbling urine or wetting your pants

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor. There are many effective treatments available, but the first step is getting an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Testing

To diagnose urinary incontinence, your urologist will likely:

  • Ask about your detailed symptoms and medical history
  • Perform a physical exam of your abdomen and genitals
  • Have you provide a urine sample to test for infection
  • Order imaging tests like an ultrasound
  • Conduct specialized tests of bladder function

These exams help identify the type of incontinence and contributing factors. Your doctor can then recommend the best treatment options.

Treatment Options

Treatments for urinary incontinence include:

  • Lifestyle changes like limiting caffeine and alcohol
  • Bladder training exercises to lengthen time between urinating
  • Medications that relax the bladder muscles
  • Medical devices like urethral inserts or penile clamps
  • Surgery such as a sling or artificial urinary sphincter

Your urologist will discuss which treatments may help provide relief based on your specific case.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any leaking of urine, don’t ignore it. See your doctor for an evaluation, testing and treatment options. Treating incontinence can significantly improve your quality of life. You don’t have to be embarrassed or just live with it. Help is available.

Map Pin Icon
Find Your Location
Calendar and Clock Icon
Schedule An Appointment
Key and Lock Icon
Patient Portal
Cloud Icon
Download Forms