incontinence is the accidental leaking of urine. It's not a disease. It's a
symptom of a problem with a man's
Urine is made by the
kidneys and stored in a sac made of muscle, called the
bladder. A tube called the
urethra leads from the bladder through the prostate
and penis to the outside of the body. Around this tube is a ring of muscles
called the urinary sphincter. As the bladder fills with urine, nerve signals
tell the sphincter to stay squeezed shut while the bladder stays relaxed. The
nerves and muscles work together to prevent urine from leaking out of the
When you have to urinate, the nerve signals tell the muscles
in the walls of the bladder to squeeze. This forces urine out of the bladder
and into the urethra. At the same time the bladder squeezes, the urethra
relaxes. This allows urine to pass through the urethra and out of the body.
Incontinence can happen for many reasons:
- If your bladder squeezes at the wrong time,
or if it squeezes too hard, urine may leak out.
- If the muscles
around the urethra are damaged or weak, urine can leak out even if you don't
have a problem with your bladder squeezing at the wrong time.
- If your bladder doesn't empty when it should, you are left with too much urine in the bladder. If the bladder gets too full, urine will
leak out when you don't want it to.
- If something is blocking your
urethra, urine can build up in the bladder. This can cause leaking.
Urinary incontinence happens more often in older men than
in young men. But it's not just a normal part of aging.