Dr. L. Dean Knoll has helped thousands of men and women find relief from urinary incontinence, a lack of bladder control that results in the leakage of urine. To effectively treat urinary incontinence, it’s important to accurately diagnose which type you have: Stress Incontinence: Urine leakage occurs upon sneezing, laughing, coughing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects. This type of incontinence results from weakened pelvic floor or sphincter muscles, or both. Urge Incontinence: Also called overactive bladder (OAB), this type of incontinence is characterized by the sudden and urgent need to urinate, followed by involuntary urine leakage. It may be caused by conditions such as a bladder infection, inflammation, stones, cancer, spinal cord injury, stroke, or an enlarged prostate gland in men. Overactive bladder affects more than 30% of men and 40% of women in the U.S. Mixed Incontinence: It is possible to have both stress and urge incontinence simultaneously. When this occurs, it is termed mixed incontinence. Overflow Incontinence: With this type of incontinence, the bladder has difficulty emptying completely, leading to persistent urine dribbling and a weak stream of urine when you go to the bathroom. It may be caused by an enlarged prostate (BPH) in men, a blocked urethra, an injured bladder, certain medications, and nerve damage associated with diabetes. Treatment options for urinary incontinence will depend on which type(s) you have but may include one or more of the following:
Urinary incontinence in men is often the result of prostate problems. The prostate gland is located near the base of the bladder and encircles the urethra. Part of the urethra is surrounded by sphincter muscles which remain contracted to keep urine in the bladder. Prostate cancer surgery or treatment as well as an enlarged prostate can all lead to a loss of bladder control.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, is a common condition in older men. An enlarged prostate causes the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis) to become narrower, forcing the bladder to work harder to eliminate urine. As the bladder wall weakens, it retains urine, which leads to a weak urine stream, urinary urgency and leakage, frequent urination, nighttime voiding, and overactive bladder.
- Prostate cancer surgery can cause urinary incontinence because it can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and the urinary sphincter that controls urine flow. Radical prostatectomy, a surgical procedure that involves completely removing the prostate gland, can damage nerves and/or muscles in the area surrounding the prostate, leading to urinary incontinence.
- External beam radiation therapy, a noninvasive prostate cancer treatment, and brachytherapy (seed implants) may cause temporary or chronic urinary incontinence.
Many men are also prone to urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, which affects around 30% of men in the U.S. Whatever the reason, urinary incontinence can lead to feelings of embarrassment and withdrawal from daily activities. Men often feel isolated and burdened with their condition. Instead of seeking treatment, some continue to cope and adapt to their situation which can profoundly affect their daily life. The good news is there are effective therapies available that can restore your bladder control and your quality of life.
According to the National Association for Continence, more than 25 million Americans suffer from urinary incontinence, the vast majority of which are women of all ages. Stress urinary incontinence, which is caused by weak pelvic floor or sphincter muscles, is far more prevalent in women than in men. That’s because pregnancy and childbirth can significantly weaken these muscles. Other contributing factors specific to women include hysterectomy, menopause, and loss of pelvic muscle tone as a result of aging. Many women are also prone to urge incontinence, or overactive bladder, which affects around 40% of American women. Although bladder control problems often interfere with daily activities, many women continue to live with the condition in silence, never seeking help. However, urinary incontinence doesn’t need to control your life. There are numerous treatment options available that can help restore normalcy allowing you to resume your active lifestyle. For more information or to seek treatment from Dr. L. Dean Knoll, call (615) 622-5033 or request an appointment online.