8 Facts About Male Incontinence

More than 5 million men in the United States have bladder problems. There are many reasons why men can have urinary incontinence. These include an enlarged prostate or prostate surgery as well as other factors. It is important to know what causes urinary incontinence, and what can be done to prevent it. Urinary incontinence is when the bladder leaks due to pressure placed on the bladder. This can happen when you sneeze, cough, laugh or lift something heavy. You may also feel the need to urinate at night.

1. Urinary Incontinence is Not Uncommon
According to the National Association for Continence (NAFC), between 2% and 15% of men ages 15 to 64 and 5% to 15% of all men over 60 who live at home have incontinence. The most common cause of incontinence comes from prostate removal for cancer treatment.

2. Weight Can Cause Incontinence
Extra pressure on the urinary bladder can cause incontinence. As you age, the muscles which control the bladder lose their strength. Therefore, if someone has excess weight on their body, they are putting more strain and pressure on the bladder, which can lead to incontinence.

3. Issues with Prostate
Having prostate problems can lead to urinary incontinence. An enlarged prostate is common in men as they age. When the prostate is enlarged, it blocks the urethral flow of urine causing trouble with urination. When the prostate is removed due to cancer, this causes weakening in the pelvic floor muscles and nerves around the bladder, leading to leakage issues in men.

4. Fluid Intake
Monitoring your fluid intake can significantly affect incontinence. If you are consuming a full 6-pack of beer, and you have low resistance, you will produce more urine and put stress on the urinary system.

5. Medications Can Affect Incontinence
Medications such as diuretics, antihistamines, and antidepressants can cause urinary leakage. If you are taking any of these medications, make sure you discuss this with your doctor or health care provider.

6. Skin Problems
Urinary incontinence tends to cause more issues in men than in women. Do not ignore rashes, fungus, or scrotum skin issues. If you are using absorbent pads, they should be changed every couple of hours to reduce the risk of infection. If your skin is becoming inflamed or dry, the use of moisturizers can help.

7. Kegels
Kegel exercises are not just for women, men can do them too. This exercise works to strengthen the muscles of the urinary system. Perform this exercise by squeezing and holding the muscles. Take your time when doing this exercise and do not overexert yourself. Over time, this will lessen urinary incontinence. These exercises are especially beneficial for men before undergoing prostate removal surgery.

8. Stroke and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease, as well as stroke, can lead to incontinence problems due to nerve damage. This can also be seen in patients suffering from diabetes and multiple sclerosis as well. Involvement in car or motorcycle accidents can trigger incontinence, especially if there is an injury to the spinal cord.

Speaking to your health care provider will pinpoint if any of your lifestyle habits are causing urinary incontinence. Monitor your fluid intake, medications, and diet. Strengthen the muscles of the urinary system and make sure your prostate is functioning well.

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