Urinary Incontinence in Men: Facts You Need to Know
Urinary incontinence in men? That’s right – incontinence isn’t just restricted to women; men can suffer from accidental leakage of urine too! With cases of an enlarged prostate (EPH) and prostate surgery on the increase, male incontinence has become commonplace.
Let’s look at the numbers. As of this day, a whopping over 20 million Americans are struggling with some degree of incontinence. What will shock you, though, is that men account for about 20% of all these cases. That doesn’t seem like a women-only problem anymore, does it? But, that isn’t all.
Beside prostate conditions, other causes can play a vital role in incontinence in men. Sadly, not many men are informed about these issues, with most male patients facing insurmountable challenges – socially, emotionally, and physically – when diagnosed.
Herein, I will walk you through some glowing facts about incontinence in men that everyone should know. They are poised to convince even the most grounded fellow to be aware of this unfortunate condition. Read on.
There Are Four Kinds of Male Incontinence
Stress Incontinence: I have mentioned this sort of incontinence earlier. Stress incontinence occurs when the bladder is under stress when you lift heavy items, sneeze, cough vigorously, and so forth.
Urge Incontinence: This occurs when the bladder constricts under abnormal circumstances. When the “urge” is too much, you are bound to urinate.
Mixed Incontinence: This is simply a combination of the two: urge and stress incontinence. Needless to say, a patient with this condition will leak more urine, frequently.
Overflow Incontinence: It’s characterized by urinary retention, a condition whereby the bladder cannot empty its content entirely. Research is yet to yield leading causes of urinary retention. When the bladder is too full, then you experience a leakage.
Male Incontinence is more Rampant than Initially Thought
Again, glowing statistics show that about 10% of men between the age of 30 and 65 have incontinence according to NAFC. Of this lot, more than 40% have undergone prostate removal surgery. Spinal injury, neurological complications, and diabetes are also to blame.
Male Incontinence and Prostate Surgery
As you may already know, urine is stored in a sac called bladder. This sac has two sets of sphincters meant to control urine: external and internal. The problem is that we’ve no control over the workings of the inner bladder sphincters which is located in the prostate. In normal circumstance, a healthy, intact external sphincter pack enough power to prevent leakages.
When prostate surgery is performed, internal sphincter is typically removed, but some damage could also be made to the external one. Such patients might not recover their entire urine control, hence urinary incontinence. With blood supply, nerve system or ligaments damaged, the external sphincter is poised to malfunction.
That Extra Bulk Could be to Blame
Obesity is undeniably one of the most costly lifestyle problems. And it seems this issue as encroached the prostate area. If you can’t control your bladder, your weight could be the cause.
As we age, the sphincter muscles tend to lose strength, but weight gain can make things even worse. With more bulk, comes extra burden on the bladder. Obesity, smoking, and heavy drinking are a sure recipe for a leaky bladder.
Prostate Enlargement (EPH) Can Cause Urinary Incontinence
Prostate troubles are caused by enlargement of the prostate, a condition called EPH. It’s normal since prostate tends to enlarge as we age, exerting more pressure on the urethra. In case the enlargement blocks the urethra, you will experience overflow incontinence.
You Can Control Incontinence by Regulating Fluid Intake
Even without surgery or medication, regulating fluid intake can help reduce incontinence. So cutting back on alcoholic beverage, soda, and other unnecessary liquid can go a long way in eliminating stress incontinence. Don’t reduce your water intake, though.
Surgery Can Help
If other therapies don’t produce significant change, men with stress incontinence may opt for surgery. A surgeon can wrap an artificial sphincter around the urethra. The plastic sphincter is then deflated and inflated to regulate urine flow.
Urge incontinence can be controlled using a sacral nerve stimulator which is implanted under the skin. This stimulator sends signals to the sacral nerve to monitor the activity of bladder. For overflow incontinence, your doctor might prescribe surgery too.
Prostate Massage is the Ultimate Control of Incontinence
As discussed, male incontinence is caused by weak sphincter muscles, overactive sacral nerves, enlarged prostate, and other prostate-related conditions. For that reason, prostate massage is your best shot at eliminating all forms of incontinence. For so long, massage therapy has been utilized to treat many prostate conditions, including BPH and even in prevention of prostate cancer.
With regular massage therapy, you can reduce swellings on the prostate, unblocking the urethra. Some massage treatments target the sacral nerves, stopping urge incontinence. The bottom line is that massage therapy can help men with incontinence in more than one way.