What is Male Incontinence?
Male incontinence is the accidental leaking of urine in men. Urine is of course produced by the kidneys and stored in a sac of muscle called the bladder. In most cases, urine is held in the bladder by the urinary sphincter. When the bladder is full and there is a need to urinate, the walls of the bladder contract and squeeze the urine out of the body through the urethra.
Incontinence usually occurs in men if the bladder contracts at the wrong time or of the muscles around the urethra are weakened or damaged. It can also occur if the bladder is too full and urine begins to leak. In any case, male incontinence is not a disease but a possible symptom of other conditions. It is more common in older men, but it is not a normal part of aging.
What Can Cause Male Incontinence?
Male incontinence can occur for several different reasons, but it is often related to prostate problems. Stress incontinence, or the leaking of urine when pressure is placed on the bladder, is common if the prostate is removed. Overflow incontinence in which a blockage causes the bladder to overflow can be caused by an enlarged prostate blocking the urethra, although it can be caused by a weak bladder.
Other conditions that cause male incontinence include kidney stones, side effects of medications such as antihistamines or diuretics, and conditions that affect the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis.
How is Male Incontinence Treated?
Since incontinence is a symptom and not a disease, the underlying condition causing the incontinence must be addressed. Treatment of the incontinence itself may include simple exercises to strengthen the muscles in the bladder and around the urethra and taking medications to prevent leaking. Some men require surgery to control their incontinence, but most do not.