It is common belief that urinary incontinence is a female condition. More than five million of the twenty-five million Americans estimated to have the condition are male. In most cases, men are uninformed about urinary incontinence leading to the big struggle they experience in dealing with the state.
Here are facts five facts you didn’t know about male incontinence:
1. Types of Incontinence
There are various kinds of urinary incontinence in existence today, with the most common being stress, mixed, overflow and urge. Overflow incontinence happens when smaller amounts of urine continuously leak and is common in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Stress incontinence causes loss of urine in activities such as exercising or sneezing that exert pressure on the abdomen.
Urge incontinence causes sudden uncontrollable urine loss and frequent urination. When signs of both urge and stress incontinence happen, then it constitutes mixed incontinence.
2. Prostate Issues
In most cases, incontinence is attributed to prostate issues. Prostate enlargement is a common phenomenon among older men. An enlarged prostate may cause an overflow of urine due to blocking the urethra. Besides the overflow, urinating can be difficult as a result of the enlarged prostate.
Another cause of incontinence is the removal of prostate due to cancer. Prostate removal weakens the pelvic floor muscles together with nerves around the bladder region. It causes temporary urinary incontinence after the surgery.
3. Incontinence Occurs Commonly Than Men Think
According to the National Association for Continence reports, approximately 15% of males between 15 to 64 years struggle with incontinence. The belief that incontinence is more of a female problem has made male patients to shy away from seeking medical attention because of being embarrassed.
However, it is important that you seek medical attention at an early stage as the condition can be caused by varied health issues. They include spinal injuries, diabetes or neurological disorders.
4. Obesity Is A Contributing Factor
Obesity influences bladder control in women more often than men, but it forms a common cause of incontinence. As men and women continue getting older, bladder muscles continue getting weaker. A lot of pressure is exerted on the bladder due to extra weight and weak bladder muscles. Men’s risk of urinary incontinence increases with smoking, medium to heavy drinking and diabetes.
Surgical options exist in the treatment of severe urine incontinence. A rubber sphincter can be implanted around the urethra. The sphincter is then deflated and inflated to have urine flow controlled. A male sling procedure also exists which puts a synthetic mesh around the groin area. The urethra is compressed by the mesh moving it to a new position.
It is highly recommended that you seek lifestyle and behavioral changes before opting for surgery. Practices such as bladder training, urgency suppression and pelvic exercises are often encouraged. Besides, medical assistance should be sought as soon as possible to avoid the long-term effects of the condition.