Male Incontinence - Who Does it Affect?
Male incontinence is often mistakenly considered to be part of the aging process - but it can affect men of all ages and for different reasons. According to statistics, up to six million adult men have reported some symptoms of incontinence. Normally, the urethral sphincter and nerves around the area work to hold urine within the bladder until you can go to the bathroom. If you suffer from incontinence, these mechanisms no longer work properly, and you might experience embarrassing leakage.
Causes of Male Incontinence
There are different causes of male incontinence:
Issues with the prostate gland
Issues with the prostate gland: While prostate issues, such an enlarged gland, infection, or cancer, are commonly associated with older men, younger men can experience them as well. If the prostate is affected by a disease or a medical condition, this can block the urethra and cause issues with urination.
Nerve damage: Damage to nerves around the sphincter of the urethra can cause urinary incontinence in men. For example, a man who has suffered a significant spinal cord injury may experience urinary incontinence.
Muscle damage: If the sphincter and muscles that help control urination are damaged, they will not be able to hold urine properly, which in turn causes incontinence.
Bladder damage: If the bladder has been damaged, it may not fill with, or hold, urine properly, which can cause leakage. Bladder issues can be caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs), obesity, neurological problems, and even chronic coughing.
How is Male Incontinence Diagnosed?
It doesn't matter how old you are - if you think that you're experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible to rule out cancer or other serious health issues with your kidneys, bladder or urethra. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests and may carry out medical imaging, such as X-rays.
How is Male Incontinence Treated?
Urinary incontinence can often be treated with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and drinking plenty of water. Your doctor may also recommend pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles around the bladder. If these changes don't help, electrical nerve stimulation, surgery, and medication may also provide relief from symptoms. Many men find that urinary incontinence products, such as pads, can help reduce visible leakage and prevent embarrassing situations in public. These products are thin and absorbent, and many are invisible under normal clothing.
Male Incontinence - An Issue That Can Affect All Men
Male incontinence isn't just an issue for older men, but fortunately there is a wide variety of treatments available to help you manage symptoms and even eliminate them in many cases. Whether you're 18 or 68, you don't have to suffer in silence.