Urinary incontinence is the unintentional flow of urine that can happen anytime and anywhere. The problem is not a disease but is one of the symptoms of urinary tract infections. Men can experience bladder problems commonly as with the growing age or sometimes due to underlying medical conditions or surgery.
Compared to women, men are more likely to suffer from this problem due to the prostates that get enlarged with age and tend to block the flow of urine from the bladder. There are different types of male incontinence. They are:
Types of incontinence and causes
1) Urge Incontinence- With this condition, there is a frequent and very urgent need to go urinate. Urge incontinence is caused by a problem with the detrusor muscles in the bladder walls. Often the detrusor walls contract, which in turn creates a need to go toilet. This indicates an overactive bladder problem. The reasons for detrusor muscle contraction include:
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Conditions that affect the lower urinary tract, for example, UTIs or tumor in the bladder
2) Overflow Incontinence- In overflow incontinence, there is a blockage or obstruction of the bladder. Due to the problem of bladder, it fills up quickly, but one has to face problems while emptying it. The bladder problem occurs due to:
- Enlarged prostate gland
- Bladder stones
3) Total Incontinence- This problem occurs when the bladder is unable to store any urine at all, which results in passing large amounts of urine or passing urine with some leaking. The causes of total incontinence are:
- Bladder problem since birth
- Any injury to the spinal cord that can cause a problem in the nerve signals between the bladder and the brain
4) Stress Incontinence- Stress Incontinence in men occurs when urine leaks from the bladder during any physical activity or any exertion such as coughing, laughing or lifting something heavy.
Also read: Ways to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
What increases the risk for male incontinence?
There are many things that cause bladder problem and increases risk of urinary incontinence in male. Our lifestyle has a major hand in ruining our health, other than this the medicines or food, and several medical conditions increase the risk too.
- Smoking cigarettes or tobacco
- Bladder infection
- Injury to the bladder or urethra
Foods and drugs:
- Drinking caffeinated and carbonated drinks like coffee, soda and tea
- Alcohol consumption
- Taking prescription medications that can increase urine production like diuretics, antidepressants and anticholinergics
- Sedatives, calcium channel blockers and narcotics
- Nonprescription medicines like allergy, diet and cold medicines
Certain underlying medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, diabetes, bladder cancer, anxiety, depression, and stroke may also enhance the incontinence risk in men.
You must visit a doctor if urinary incontinence does not get better plus you suffer from:
- Weakness and numbness in legs, buttocks and feet
- Chills, fever and belly pain
- A change in the bowel habits
How to treat male incontinence?
For male incontinence, the effective way is to put an end on every unhealthy eating habit and make changes to the lifestyle and urinary habits.
Diet and lifestyle changes:
- Limit or stop alcohol consumption
- Reduce the caffeinated and carbonated drinks
- Stop smoking
- Avoid eating foods that can irritate or create bladder problems like spicy foods and dairy products
- Eat more of fruits, green veggies and whole grains
- Do an exercise every day. Doing moderate activity for at least 2 hours a week will also work
- Spare some time each day for a bowel movement
- Do pelvic floor exercises for strengthening pelvic muscles
- Set your daily time for urinating. You must go washroom whether or not you feel the need to urinate
- Try to pass urine as much as possible, you can relax yourself for a few moments, and then urinate again
- If you somehow face problem in reaching the bathroom before urination, then try to make a clear or a quick path to the washroom. Put on clothes that are easy to remove like those with elastic waistbands. You can also keep a urinal close to your bed or chair.
Getting embarrassed is no solution to combat incontinence. This problem is something that can happen to any male with the growing age. Try to help yourself and look for the nearest doctor as soon before the situation goes out of hands.