What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary Incontinence is when a person loses the ability to control their bladder. When this happens, they may experience leakage of urine. It can also happen at random intervals or when a person sneezes, laughs, or coughs.

Incontinence is common in both women and men. Incontinence is more common in women than men; however, men do suffer from it as well.

The symptoms of incontinence in men will depend on the type of incontinence suffered by the individual.


Types of Incontinence

The main types of incontinence in men: stress urinary incontinence (SUI), urge incontinence (UI), overflow incontinence (OI), and functional incontinence (FI). Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type among all genders and occurs when there is a loss of urine when pressure is applied. Urge incontinence is caused by sudden urges to urinate, and may be linked to a prostate problem or a neurological disorder. Overflow incontinence occurs when a person cannot completely empty their bladder, resulting in leakage. Functional incontinence refers to a person who urinates more often than usual because they cannot access a toilet quickly enough when they need to go.


Why do men suffer from incontinence?

Men may suffer from incontinence due to an enlarged prostate gland that presses on the bladder and/or urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and affects nearly all men over age 60 years old. Other causes of male UI include:

  • Prostate cancer surgery

Prostate cancer surgery is a major operation that carries significant risk. Typically, the operation is performed using a procedure called radical prostatectomy, which means removing the whole prostate gland along with some of the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. Radical prostatectomy is not an easy procedure, and it can have serious side effects.


Incontinence in men is one of the most common side effects of this surgery. Incontinence is defined as the inability to control the flow of urine from your bladder, and it can be caused by a number of different things. But in this case, incontinence is a result of damage to the nerves and muscles near your prostate gland that help you control your bladder.


  • What and how much you drink

Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretic substances. This means they increase the amount of urine that a person produces, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can exacerbate bladder control issues. Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake can help improve bladder control.


  • Nerve damage caused by certain conditions

Any condition that damages nerves, including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, and dementia can create urinary problems because nerves and muscles must work together to control the bladder.


It is important to remember that you should get medical advice if you have symptoms of incontinence so that the cause can be found and treated appropriately. If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence make an appointment with Desert Sky Urology.