Many people are unaware of how common incontinence is in men with an estimated 1 in 5 Australian men experiencing it at some point in their life. While it is more prevalent in those over 65, younger men can also be affected by urinary and fecal leakage.
The causes of incontinence can vary with benign prostate enlargement being the primary culprit. However, it can also be triggered by medication use or a urinary tract infection. The most typical forms of incontinence in men are dripping or overflow incontinence.
What are the symptoms of Incontinence In Men?
Urinary problems in men can manifest in a variety of ways. Some may need to urinate frequently, experience difficulties when urinating or suffer from dripping, which is often the result of a weakened bladder or pelvic floor muscles or poor bathroom habits.
When the prostate gland enlarges benignly, what is called overflow incontinence can occur, blocking the urethra and stopping urine release. As pressure builds up in the bladder, urine may eventually overflow.
Following prostate surgery, men may commonly experience stress incontinence, which involves urine loss during physical activity.
What causes Incontinence in Men?
Prostate issues often lead to incontinence in men. Over 30% of males aged 65 and above encounter prostate issues at some point in their lives. Benign enlargement of the prostate is the common cause of prostate problems, caused by hormonal changes related to aging. The prostate enlarges and constricts the urethra, creating difficulties in urination and causing the bladder to overflow.
Even though the condition is usually harmless, it's crucial to seek assistance as soon as possible. A healthcare professional can ascertain the cause of incontinence, provide counsel on products, insurance, specialist referrals, and symptom relief to ease the suffering.
After surgery, some men experience temporary stress incontinence due to the removal of a part of the sphincter muscle. This causes the a loss of function in the sphincter during the first weeks after an operation. Usually, these problems disappear within a year after surgery.
What are the treatment options available?
To address incontinence in men, identifying the root cause is crucial, requiring a visit to a medical professional who can conduct a physical examination, laboratory tests, and urinary diary analysis.
Preventative measures like bladder training are recommended to avoid incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises and physiotherapy can help alleviate symptoms of stress or exercise incontinence, while adjusting one's diet and maintaining a healthy weight can also improve symptoms.
Consumption of alcohol, coffee, and hot peppers can exacerbate incontinence, and it is important to stay hydrated with at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day to avoid concentrated urine and an irritable bladder.
Surgical intervention may be necessary in severe cases where pelvic floor exercises are ineffective, or for prostate enlargement, which typically requires surgery.
Wearing incontinence products is often less of a hurdle for women to overcome than men because of familiarity with wearing sanitary pads or liners. Although some continence aids can be worn by anyone of any gender, quality incontinence product brand ABENA has products specifically designed for men. Thanks to the anatomical shape and protection at the front, the ABENA Man incontinence products are a popular choice when it comes to managing male incontinence.