Hundreds of thousands in the United States deal with the issue of male incontinence. The National Institutes of Health estimates that at least 17 percent of men over the age of 60 suffer with incontinence. Urinary incontinence in men generally occurs during advanced stages of life, but it can still strike males in their prime or even younger.
Male incontinence will often go unreported, undiagnosed and untreated because of pride, shame or embarrassment. The fact is men from all walks of life battle the issue, and letting it go undetected could lead to bigger medical problems in the future.
Forms of Male Incontinence
According to the National Kidney and Urological Diseases Information Clearinghouse (otherwise known as the NKUDIC), there are three main forms of incontinence in men. The types and corresponding symptoms include:
- Stress – Involuntary leakage of urine during physical actions that put pressure on the bladder, such as sneezing, coughing or lifting an object.
- Urge – Unstoppable leakage caused by an uncontrollable need to urinate.
- Overflow – Constant leakage of small amounts of urine that cannot be stopped.
Causes of Male Incontinence
A top cause of urinary incontinence in men is prostate problems. As a man ages, the prostate gland typically becomes enlarged. Subsequently, a growing prostate commonly causes incontinence in men.
Nerve damage plays another major role in male incontinence. Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease that impact the brain and nervous system can also cause bladder issues. An overactive bladder can be the result of nerve issues.
Both men and women can experience incontinence issues because of birth defects, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Other health issues such as obesity and diabetes have coincided with both female and male incontinence problems.
Diagnosing Male Incontinence
Visiting your primary care physician or an urologist is the first step in attempting to diagnose what is causing male incontinence. A urinary incontinence in men specialist will likely begin by reviewing your general medical history and performing a physical examination.
Incontinence in men is sometime related to the amount of fluids they are consuming on a daily basis, so be sure to reveal that information. Male incontinence can also be diagnosed through an ultrasound, urodynamic testing, or EEG or EMG tests.
Treating Male Incontinence
Male incontinence can be treated and potentially eliminated several ways, including:
- Lifestyle Changes
- Bladder Training
- Bladder/Voiding Diary
- Exercises (Kegels)
- Adult Diapers/Pads
A urinary incontinence in men specialist will work with you to determine what you believe will be the most successful course of treatment. Before attempting any form of male incontinence treatment, always consult a physician.