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Causes Of Urinary Leakage In Males

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Let’s Talk About It Guys

Urinary Incontinence in Men, Animation

2 out of 3 men ages 30-70 have never discussed bladder health with their doctor, and that same percentage of men who experience loss of bladder control symptoms do not use any treatment or product to manage their incontinence. While it might be your first time bringing up bladder leaks, your healthcare provider has heard it thousands of times. And bladder health is important to discuss because whether the cause be a medical condition, an enlarged prostate, or stress, leaks are an inconvenience that can be easily managed with proper treatment and care.

Diagnosing And Treating Bed Wetting In The Elderly

Nocturnal enuresis is the involuntary voiding of urine during sleep. This condition is more commonly known as bed wetting. While nighttime loss of bladder control is often associated with young children, seniors may also suffer from involuntary urination for a number of reasons.

Causes of nighttime incontinence in the elderly include diabetes, urinary tract infection , medication side effects, neurological disorders, anatomical abnormalities, overactive bladder, prostate enlargement or prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and obstructive sleep apnea. In very rare cases, acute anxiety or an emotional disorder may cause adult bed wetting.

Urinary incontinence episodes are messy and can be embarrassing. Fortunately, there are treatments available and techniques that seniors and their caregivers can use to minimize the likelihood of elderly bed wetting.

Symptoms Of Male Urinary Incontinence

Incontinence can occur at any age but is more common in older men. Men who have had their prostates removed because of cancer are also more likely to suffer from this condition. This life changing complication from surgery can affect up to 1 in 20 men.

Common symptoms of urinary male incontinence include:

  • Dribbling urine after urination.
  • Involuntarily leaking urine on effort or physical exertion, or on sneezing, coughing, laughing or lifting something heavy.
  • The inability to hold urine long enough to reach the bathroom.
  • Leaking urine at night.

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What To Think About

Many men who have urge incontinence or overflow incontinence also have an enlarged prostate gland . They may want to talk to a doctor about medicine, surgery, or other treatment to relieve their symptoms. For more information, see the topic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia .

Urinary incontinence can be a problem following treatment for prostate cancer, including radiation therapy and removal of the prostate.

Treatment will be different for men who have total incontinence or who cannot comply with or tolerate specific treatments because of a serious illness or disease.

Evaluation Of Urinary Incontinence


Urinary incontinence usually does not indicate a disorder that is life threatening nevertheless, incontinence may cause embarrassment or lead people to restrict their activities unnecessarily, contributing to a decline in quality of life. Also, rarely, sudden incontinence can be a symptom of a spinal cord disorder. The following information can help people decide when a doctor’s evaluation is needed and help them know what to expect during the evaluation.

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Risk Factors For Urinary Incontinence

The following factors may put you at higher risk for developing UI.

Being female Women experience stress incontinence twice as often as men. Men, on the other hand, are at greater risk for urge and overflow incontinence.

Advancing age As we get older, our bladder and urinary sphincter muscles often weaken, which may result in frequent and unexpected urges to urinate. Even though incontinence is more common in older people, it is not considered a normal part of aging.

Excess body fat Extra body fat increases the pressure on the bladder and can lead to urine leakage during exercise or when coughing or sneezing.

Other chronic diseases Vascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions may increase the risk of urinary incontinence

Smoking A chronic smoker’s cough can trigger or aggravate stress incontinence by putting pressure on the urinary sphincter.

High-impact sports While sports don’t cause incontinence, running, jumping, and other activities that create sudden pressure on the bladder can lead to occasional episodes of incontinence during sports activities.

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Learn More About Incontinence

You can read more about these management options in our Incontinence Treatments guide. And remember to talk with your healthcare provider together, you can determine which type of leaks you have and the best treatment options for you.

If you’re reluctant to bring up bladder health with your healthcare provider, try starting an anonymous conversation with a Prevail® eNurseâ¢. These professional nurses are available 24/7, can answer your questions about leakage, and can help you start the conversation with your healthcare provider. When you take control of bladder and bowel leaks, they can’t stop you from living life to the fullest.

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The Guys Guide To Male Incontinence

By Brad Bell, M.D.

Leaking urine isnt a female-only problem, as millions of American men know, though they are likely not forthright in talking about it with their buddies, or their urologist.

I frequently see men with incontinence or bladder control problems who are not aware of the many options to stop the plumbing problems keeping them from the activities they love. Colorado is an active state, and I would like to keep men hiking, biking, fishing, playing with kids or grandkids, camping, throwing around the football or whatever activity they like best. I am here to share some options for male incontinence so you can get back to your favorite activity.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, women are about three times more likely than men to experience urinary incontinence, but about 25 percent of men have it, too. Understanding the problem and taking steps to relieve it, either on ones own or with my urologic care, can help men overcome this bothersome obstacle that often carries emotional worries as well.

For instance, the psychological aspect can affect social life, preventing men from pursuing their normal activities. They might pass on going fishing or playing golf because they know they cant be that far away from a bathroom for that long. Not many men want to go to a Rockies game with their friends if they know they might have to make a run for the bathroom when the bases are loaded with two outs.

Catheterisation For Detrusor Under

Treatment Options for Male Urinary Incontinence

The main treatment strategy for a poorly contractile bladder is clean intermittent catheterisation. Drugs with parasympathetic activities are not widely used because of poor efficacy and poor side effect profile. New treatment modalities like neuromodulation, neurostimulation or reconstruction with muscle transposition have been explored but data is limited for the elderly .

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Incontinence Support Treatment And Education

Bladder or bowel leaks wonât get better on their own, and if ignored, they might even get worse. But the good news is there are a number of relatively easy things you can do to treat or manage the condition and improve your quality of life. And the first step is consulting your healthcare provider for an assessment and plan of action.

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We Heard You Incontinence Affects Men Too Heres What You Need To Know

As men age, the simple act of urinating can get complicated. Prostate surgery often leaves men vulnerable to leakage when they cough, sneeze, or just rise from a chair. Or the bladder may become impatient, suddenly demanding that you find a bathroom right now. Thousands of years ago, it was not as much of an issue, observes Dr. Anurag Das, a urologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. There were lots of trees, and you could just find one and go.

But tricky bladders can be whipped into shape. The first step is a careful assessment of what triggers those difficult moments. Often your doctor can suggest helpful strategies and possibly medication to improve urinary control.

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Why Incontinence Pads Help

Lots of men balk at the idea of using pads or disposable undergarments. But not only do they stop leaks, they can protect skin from irritation and block odor. Best of all, they can help you regain confidence. You may be surprised at the number of product options. Unlike the big, bulky “adult diapers” you might imagine, today’s incontinence pads and undergarments are designed to be comfortable and unnoticeable.

When Is Enuresis A Problem

Male urinary incontinence poster

Many children may have enuresis from time to time. It can take some children longer than others to learn to control their bladder. Girls often have bladder control before boys. Because of this, enuresis is diagnosed in girls earlier than in boys. Girls may be diagnosed as young as age 5. Boys are not diagnosed until at least age 6.

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Urinary Urgency In Men

The condition of urinary urgency in men could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. The following article provides information on the causes, associated symptoms, and treatment of this condition.

The condition of urinary urgency in men could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. The following article provides information on the causes, associated symptoms, and treatment of this condition.

Urinary urgency, as the name suggests, is the sudden or compelling need to pass urine. In severe cases, it might be accompanied by urinary incontinence. It is more likely to affect the elderly. Frequent urination is an associated problem, which is characterized by the need to pass urine more than usual.

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Is Incontinence More Common In Women

Incontinence is much more commonly seen in women than in men. A large part of this is because of pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Each of these events in a womans life can lead to bladder control issues. Pregnancy can be a short-term cause of incontinence and the bladder control issues typically get better after the baby is born. Some women experience incontinence after delivery because of the strain childbirth takes on the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles are weakened, youre more likely to experience leakage issues. Menopause causes your body to go through a lot of change. Your hormones change during menopause and this can alter your bladder control.

Men can also experience incontinence, but it isnt as common as it is in women.

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Types Of Urinary Incontinence

There are different types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder, such as during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects. Its the most common type of bladder control problem in younger and middle-aged women. It also may begin later, around the time of menopause.
  • Urge incontinence happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
  • Overflow incontinence happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can also cause this type of incontinence.
  • Functional incontinence occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.

Treatment For Different Types Of Urinary Incontinence

Male incontinence: what causes dribbling of urine?

Lifestyle changes and treatments can help with symptoms. Your doctor can help you come up with a plan thatâs right for you.

Behavioral therapies, vaginal inserts, electrical stimulation and surgery are the four treatment options for women with stress incontinence. The objective is to rehabilitate the pelvic floor by building the strength and function of the muscles that support the bladder, urethra and other organs contained within the pelvic region.

For stress incontinence, treatments include:

Pads and Vaginal Inserts.

Pelvic floor exercises. If you’ve had a baby, chances are you’ve been told to do Kegel exercises. These help to strengthen the pelvic floor after childbirth. They also help prevent stress incontinence. Best of all, you can do Kegels anytime, anywhere.

Here’s how:

  • Squeeze the muscles that you use stop the flow of urine.
  • Hold the squeeze for 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.
  • Do 3 or 4 sets daily.
  • Note: You can learn how to do Kegels by stopping your urine, but donât do this routinely. Stopping the flow of urine can lead to an infection.

    Biofeedback. A probe is inserted to monitor when your bladder muscles squeeze. When youâre able to recognize it as it’s happening, you can start to gain control of it. It’s often used in combination with Kegel exercises.

    Pessary. For women, doctors may prescribe a device called a pessary that is inserted into the vagina. It repositions the urethra to help reduce leakage.


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    What Is The Difference Between Urge Incontinence And Stress Incontinence

    Urge incontinence and stress incontinence have different causes and symptoms.

    • Stress incontinence is due to abdominal pressure on your bladder. It causes you to leak small amounts of urine.
    • Urge incontinence results from an overactive bladder. It causes you to leak a lot of urine.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Leaking urine for any reason isnt an unavoidable part of aging, so dont be embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider. Treatments can help. You can learn pelvic floor exercises and use biofeedback to improve urge incontinence symptoms. If needed, you can try medications or nerve stimulation, too. With proper therapies, you can treat urge incontinence, regain control of your bladder and enjoy life more.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/05/2021.


    What Causes Nighttime Bladder Leaking In Men

    Medications, health issues, and lifestyle choices can affect the presence of Nocturia in men. Aging is obviously a big factor among the other causes of nighttime urinary incontinence. The older you get, the less your body produces the hormone that tells your kidneys to hold in urine while youre sleeping.

    Also, the urinary bladder loses its natural elasticity with age. As you grow older, your bladders ability to hold onto urine for extended periods diminishes. As a result, you are forced to visit the bathroom multiple times in the middle of the night.

    Research shows that Nocturia can affect the health and wellbeing of the patients. It can result in depression, fatigue, anxiety, poor memory, gastrointestinal issues, heart disease, and even increased risk of falling or losing your balance. After all, sleep is one of the most critical factors behind good health. Without enough restful sleep, your body is bound to suffer.

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    What Causes Urinary Incontinence In Men

    Many things may contribute to bladder leakage in men.

    The most common reason men experience incontinence is due to problems with the prostate. As men age, the prostate gland grows. It is estimated that 17 million men have an enlarged prostate, or symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia . The prostate gland wraps around the urethra , so an enlarged prostate can constrict or block the urethra. This is known as prostatic obstruction.

    Prostatic obstruction can compromise the bladders ability to effectively empty, causing chronic retention of urine. This contributes to urgency and frequency because the bladder still signals that it needs emptying. If left untreated, the bladder can become distended, worsening its ability to contract and completely empty. It is possible to have prostatic obstruction even if the prostate is not enlarged.

    Men may also experience Overactive Bladder which is characterized by a sudden and urgent need to urinate, and needing to urinate frequently. This becomes urgency urinary incontinence when you are not able to reach the bathroom before losing control of the bladder.

    Additionally, conditions that cause damage to the nerves, such as diabetes can cause bladder problems since it disrupts the normal signaling from the bladder to the brain to help control bladder function. Other conditions, such as stroke, can also cause incontinence, and even some medications or certain foods or drinks can contribute to urinary incontinence.

    When To See A Health Care Provider And What To Expect

    What Is Male Bladder Incontinence? â Vastmedic

    Talk to your health care provider if you have urinary incontinence or any signs of a bladder problem, such as:

    • Needing to urinate more frequently or suddenly
    • Cloudy urine
    • Urinating eight or more times in one day
    • Passing only small amounts of urine after strong urges to urinate
    • Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating

    Your doctor may recommend urodynamic testing and perform the following to try to figure out what might be causing your bladder problem:

    • Give you a physical exam and take your medical history.
    • Ask about your symptoms and the medications you take.
    • Take urine and blood samples.
    • Examine the inside of your bladder using a cystoscope a long, thin tube that slides up into the bladder through the urethra. This is usually done by a urinary specialist.
    • Fill the bladder with warm fluid and use a cystoscope to check how much fluid your bladder can hold before leaking.
    • Order or perform a bladder ultrasound to see if you are fully emptying your bladder with each void.
    • Ask you to keep a daily diary of when you urinate and when you leak urine. Your primary care doctor may also send you to a urologist, a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems.

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    Effects Of An Enlarged Prostate On Male Bladder Leaks

    Poor prostate health is one of the most common causes of male bladder leaks because it’s closely tied to bladder function. Older men can experience bladder leaks due to an enlargement of the prostate gland, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. In fact, men with prostate gland problems are at increased risk of urge and overflow incontinence. Male bladder leaks can also be the result of untreated prostate cancer, or a side effect of treatment.

    Warning signs of BPH and Prostate Cancer include several urinary symptoms. Look out for changes in the frequency of urination, especially at night, and hesitancy and dribbling during urination. Men over 40 with increased risk of developing these conditions should schedule annual prostate exams. Risk factors include family history and a diet that is low in fiber, but high in fat and red meat. Additionally, African Americans are typically at higher risk.

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