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Urinary Incontinence: Overview


Urinary incontinence (UI) is the accidental leakage of urine. At different ages, males and females have different risks for developing UI. In childhood, girls usually develop bladder control at an earlier age than boys, and bedwetting—or nocturnal enuresis—is less common in girls than in boys. However, adult women are far more likely than adult men to experience UI because of anatomical differences in the pelvic region and the changes induced by pregnancy and childbirth. Nevertheless, many men do suffer from incontinence. Its prevalence increases with age, but UI is not an inevitable part of aging.  

UI is a treatable problem. To find a treatment that addresses the root of the problem, you need to talk with your health care provider. The three forms of UI are:  

  • Stress incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine during actions—such as coughing, sneezing, and lifting—that put abdominal pressure on the bladder  

  • Urge incontinence, which is the involuntary loss of urine following an overwhelming urge to urinate that cannot be halted  

  • Overflow incontinence, which is the constant dribbling of urine usually associated with urinating frequently and in small amounts  

    What causes UI in men?


    For the urinary system to do its job, muscles and nerves must work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the right time. Nerve problems and prostate problems are the most common causes of UI in men.  

    Nerve Problems

    Any disease, condition, or injury that damages nerves can lead to urination problems. Nerve problems can occur at any age.  

  • Men who have had diabetes for many years may develop nerve damage that affects their bladder control.  
  • Stroke, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis all affect the brain and nervous system, so they can also cause bladder emptying problems.  
  • Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder squeezes at the wrong time. The condition may be caused by nerve problems, or it may occur without any clear cause. A person with overactive bladder may have any two or all three of the following symptoms:  
  • -urinary frequency—urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night -urinary urgency—the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately   -urge incontinence—urine leakage that follows a sudden, strong urge to urinate  
  • Spinal cord injury may affect bladder emptying by interrupting the nerve signals required for bladder control.  

  • Prostate Problems

    The prostate is a male gland about the size and shape of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra just below the bladder, where it adds fluid to semen before ejaculation.  

  • BPH: The prostate gland commonly becomes enlarged as a man ages. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. As the prostate enlarges, it may squeeze the urethra and affect the flow of the urinary stream. The lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with the development of BPH rarely occur before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and up to 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some LUTS. The symptoms vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream; urgency and leaking or dribbling; more frequent urination, especially at night; and urge incontinence. Problems with urination do not necessarily signal blockage caused by an enlarged prostate. Women don't usually have urinary hesitancy and a weak stream or dribbling.  
  • Radical prostatectomy: The surgical removal of the entire prostate gland—called radical prostatectomy—is one treatment for prostate cancer. In some cases, the surgery may lead to erection problems and UI.  
  • External beam radiation: This procedure is another treatment method for prostate cancer. The treatment may result in either temporary or permanent bladder problems.1  

    Incontinence Products for Men


    Due to the differences in coverage needs and the types of incontinence, there are numerous amounts of incontinence products and incontinence supplies for men. If you suffer from urge incontinence or overactive bladder, adult briefs and diapers and incontinence underwear is recommended. These offer more protection against leaks. Underpads or commonly known as chuck (chux) pads could also be used while sleeping or sitting in a chair to prevent further leaks. There are disposable and reusable options for briefs, adult diapers, incontinence underwear and underpads. If you suffer from stress or overflow incontinence pads or liners could be a better option. Many pads are developed for men to ensure protection and comfort. Pad and liners are used with regular underwear and are typically disposable. These are also commonly known as incontinence guards or shields. Tena®, Depend® and Attends® are some top brands that manufacture men incontinence products.  


    Source: 1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    This content is provided for informational purposes only. has not verified the accuracy of the information contained in this article, which is presented on an “as is” basis.  It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment or vigorous physical activity or making any changes to existing treatment or activities. Do not delay seeking or otherwise disregard medical advice based on the content presented here.   The product information contained in this document, including the product images and additional product materials, was collected from various supplier sources. All product claims and specifications are those of the product suppliers and have not been independently verified by Simply Medical. Simply Medical is not responsible for errors or omissions in the product information.   All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.