Urinary incontinence is a fairly common, embarrassing condition that men face as they age. The good news is that, depending on the underlying condition, urinary incontinence is quite treatable. Here are a few of the most common types of urinary incontinence in men and how a urologist can help.
Often the result of a blocked nerve or obstruction, overflow incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence in men. The bladder fills up with too much urine and begins to overflow, causing leakage and a near constant urge to void. Typical causes include prostate problems, inflammation or a too narrow urethra, or neurologic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis or neuropathy.
Also known as an overactive bladder, urge incontinence occurs when men experience a sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate, causing their bladder to involuntarily expel a small amount of urine. Urge incontinence typically is the result of an interruption of signals between the bladder and the brain and is linked to issues with the prostate gland. Those with urge incontinence often void up to eight times a day.
Affecting around 10% of incontinence cases in men, stress incontinence is caused by straining and exertion from chores like heavy lifting or too much exercise. The additional strain put on the muscles can cause a weakening of the pelvic floor, causing leakage.
Mixed incontinence occurs when two or more of the aforementioned causes result in leakage. With mixed incontinence, one type may be more prevalent than the other, but in combination, they make it extremely difficult to avoid involuntary urination.
If incontinence is becoming a concern, see your urologist right away. He will verify if there are any underlying conditions that are causing you to void involuntarily or too frequently. He likely will recommend certain exercises that can help you strengthen the pelvic walls and help you stop the void until you reach the bathroom. Likewise, he may advise you to “train” your bladder to hold the urine for a few minutes to prevent accidents. He may recommend you try to “double void,” which means voiding, then waiting a few minutes and going again to ensure complete emptying of the bladder. Kegel exercises are strongly recommended for trying to help strengthen the pelvic muscles that control the opening and closing of the urethra.
For some men, surgery may be an option depending on the symptoms and underlying causes of the urinary incontinence. Emplacement of a urethral sling, artificial urethral sphincter or pressure pump all can be effective to decrease the flow of urine and bring the urge to urinate under control.
Urological Care in Nashville
Dr. L. Dean Knoll is a Nashville-based physician who is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of urological disorders and men’s sexual health issues. For more than three decades, men and women have relied on Dr. Knoll to treat their urinary incontinence, as well as other urological concerns. At Knoll Urology, Dr. Knoll and his expert staff will work with you to get you healthy, happy and active. If you are incontinent or have any other urological health concerns, reach out to Dr. Knoll at Knoll Urology. Request an appointment online today, or call (615) 250-9290 and start living the life you deserve!