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Incontinence in Men – Diagnosis, Causes and Treatments

Incontinence-in-Men

Urinary incontinence is a condition where a person is unable to control their urinary bladder. According to WebMD, around 3.4 million men in the US suffer from Urinary incontinence. However, there are myths that link this condition to aging, but hardly mention that this condition can be controlled. So, what causes incontinence in men? Before we look at the answer to this question, let us see what the different types of incontinence are

Types of Incontinence

Stress incontinence generally happens when a person does some stressful activity such as lifting weights, bending, or coughing too much. These actions put a lot of pressure on the bladder and thus cause it to leak.

Urge incontinence happens when the bladder contracts at a time that it shouldn’t. This contraction makes a person feel a sudden urge to urinate. At times, the urge is so intense that the person can’t even make it to the washroom in time.

Overflow incontinence is a condition that occurs when a person is unable to empty their bladder properly, and it causes incontinence.

Mixed incontinence, as the name suggests, is a mixture of different kinds of incontinence, but most of the time, it is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Total incontinence is a condition where sphincter muscles stop working, and thus, the bladder leaks continuously.

What Causes Incontinence in Men?

Now that we know about the different types of incontinence. Let us see what causes incontinence in men. Incontinence in men can be a result of medical symptoms such as diabetes, an enlarged prostate, and Parkinson’s disease. At times, the condition also occurs in men who undergo prostate surgery, and there are cases where the reason behind its occurrence is not known, such as in the case of the overactive bladder. A doctor needs to understand the reason behind the incontinence to provide proper treatment.

Diagnosis of Incontinence

At times knowing what causes incontinence in men isn’t sufficient to say that a person is suffering from this condition. Therefore, it is necessary to see a doctor confirm that a person is indeed suffering from incontinence. The doctor would perform a physical exam along with questions related to your symptoms. The information about your past medical condition and a urine test are also necessary to diagnose the condition. Sometimes a urodynamic test and an ultrasound are also performed to diagnose incontinence.

Treatment of Incontinence

As mentioned earlier, once it is clear what causes incontinence in men, the next step involves the treatment of this condition or at least controlling it.

There is no single treatment that guarantees a 100% result. So, the treatment is given based on the extent of the condition, the lifestyle, and at times what the patient prefers. However, at times all it needs to control incontinence is a bit of lifestyle change and doing exercises to strengthen the bladder. At times, the condition is so severe that any lifestyle change, or exercise is ineffective. In this scenario, one needs to opt for medicines or get a continence device, and in some cases, even surgery is necessary.

Behavioral Treatment

For many men, the treatment is quite simple, such as limiting the amount of fluid intake during certain times of the day and going to the washroom regularly. This method is called time voiding or bladder training. Once a person starts to practice this method, they manage to gain control and don’t require frequent trips to the washroom. Kegel exercises are focused on strengthening the pelvic muscles, which provide bladder control. There aren’t any studies that suggest the effectiveness of Kegel exercise, but many clinicians believe they might work.

Medicines for Incontinence

Medicines provide relief from incontinence in different ways. A few of them by cutting down the nerve signals that lead to abnormal bladder contraction while a few also reduce the rate of production of urine. Some medicines also work by reducing the size of the prostate or relaxing the bladder. But you need to consult a doctor before taking any of these medicines.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical treatments include the use of a male sling in case of stress incontinence. Material is wrapped around the urethra so that it compresses it. Thus, incontinence due to coughing, lifting weight, or any other vigorous activity is managed. Other options include the use of an artificial sphincter and also a pace-maker device that helps in controlling incontinence by stimulating nerves that relax the bladder.

Other Means

If these methods don’t seem to work, then the only option that is left is to hide the effects of incontinence. Many men might find the idea of incontinence pads embarrassing, but they work wonders. Not only are they unnoticeable as compared to adult diapers, but they also prevent irritation and odor caused by urinating. External Catheters are also a great way to deal with incontinence, especially when the person is sleeping. There are also versions of catheters that can be worn under clothes during the day. However, you need to talk to a doctor before getting a catheter.

Incontinence in Men FAQs

 

What Causes Incontinence in Men?

Contrary to popular belief, incontinence is not only an aging-related condition. Bladder and urinary tract infection, weakness of bladder muscles, obesity, and nerve damage, could lead to incontinence in men.

What Diseases Are Linked to Incontinence in Men?

Incontinence could be a sign of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Diabetes, enlarged prostate, urinary tract infection, or even a neurological disorder.

What Are the Different Kinds of Incontinence?

Incontinence could be of the following types: Stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, and total incontinence.

How to Deal with Incontinence?

At times exercising and changing your lifestyle helps in managing incontinence. There are medicines that help in controlling incontinence, and if needed, there are surgical options that can help in dealing with incontinence. Simpler techniques exist that hide incontinence. These include the use of incontinence pads and the use of a catheter after consulting a doctor.

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