If you have urinary incontinence, you may find yourself running to the bathroom multiple times a day and barely making it in time. Or, you might not be able to get a full night’s sleep because you keep waking up to head to the head. Or, you leak urine when you laugh or cough.
Men can have more than one type of urinary incontinence. Types include:
You might also have something called functional incontinence, which means that some physical impediment, such as a disability, prevents you from reaching the toilet in time.
No matter which type of urinary incontinence you have, you shouldn’t have to suffer. Alex Lesani, MD, a caring and expert urologist, diagnoses and treats urinary incontinence in men at his clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here are some of the reasons why you may be struggling with urinary incontinence, and what you can do about it.
As you get older, all of your tissues — including muscles — lose strength and elasticity. Your bladder is a muscle, and the other organs of your urinary system are all controlled by muscles, too.
Your bladder may not be strong enough to hold your urine the way it used to, which is why you have to urinate more frequently. Or, the muscles that close your urethra can’t contract full-force anymore, so urine leaks through. Dr. Lesani may recommend Kegel exercises to build strength and flexibility in your pelvic floor muscles again.
One of the most common causes of urinary incontinence in men is an enlarged prostate. Your prostate is a gland that’s about the size of a walnut. It sits between your penis and your bladder. Your prostate produces the seminal fluid that transports sperm through your ureter and out of your body when you ejaculate.
An enlarged prostate — known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — can cause all of the different types of incontinence. Treatment options include medications, laser therapy, or surgery.
If you’ve had your prostate removed because of prostate cancer or other reasons, you can experience incontinence. Your nerves may have been damaged during the surgery, or the lower part of your bladder might not be supported because the prostate is gone.
If anything blocks your urethra, you may not be able to pass urine fully, which leads to overflow incontinence. Your full bladder just gradually leaks to try to empty itself. An enlarged prostate may be the culprit. You might also have scar tissue in your urethra from a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or have weak bladder muscles.
If your urethra is clear and your prostate is normal, you may have a condition called overactive bladder. Instead of contracting only when you choose to urinate, your bladder contracts between bathroom trips, causing dribbling and leakage.
Anything that irritates the lining of your bladder can cause incontinence. Dr. Lesani may recommend cutting down on or cutting out coffee and alcohol. He also looks at whatever pharmaceutical medications you’re taking, as well as any recreational drugs. Any of these could be behind your incontinence.
If you need another reason to finally lose the unhealthy weight, here it is: Obesity can cause or exacerbate urinary incontinence. The extra pounds press against your bladder, making it more difficult to hold urine. Take the pressure off by taking off the extra weight.
The causes of male incontinence are as individual as the man himself, and so are the treatments. Depending on what’s causing your problem, Dr. Lesani may recommend lifestyle changes, including physical therapy and bladder training. You might also benefit from medications, laser therapy, or surgery.
Get a full work-up and diagnosis for your incontinence or enlarged prostate by contacting us today. Call our helpful office staff at 702-470-2579, or book your appointment online.