types of incontinence have different causes.
- Stress incontinence
can happen when the prostate gland is removed. If there has been damage to the
nerves or to the sphincter, the lower part of the bladder may not have enough
support. Keeping urine in the bladder is then up to the sphincter alone.
- Urge incontinence is caused by bladder muscles that squeeze so
hard that the sphincter can't hold back the urine. This causes a very strong
urge to urinate.
- Overflow incontinence can be caused by something blocking the urethra, which
leads to urine building up in the bladder. This is often caused by an enlarged
prostate gland or a narrow urethra. It may also happen because of weak bladder
In men, incontinence is often related to prostate
problems or treatments.
Drinking alcohol can make urinary
incontinence worse. Taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs such as
diuretics, antidepressants, sedatives, narcotics, or nonprescription cold and
diet medicines can also affect your symptoms.
doctor will do a physical exam, ask questions about your symptoms and past
health, and test your urine. Often this is enough to help the doctor find the
cause of the incontinence. You may need other tests if the leaking is
caused by more than one problem or if the cause is unclear.
Treatments depend on the type of incontinence you have and how much it
affects your life. Your treatment may include medicines, simple exercises, or both. A few men need
surgery, but most don't.
There are also some things you can do
at home. In many cases, these lifestyle changes can be enough to control
- Cut back on caffeine drinks, such as coffee and
tea. Also cut back on fizzy drinks like soda pop. And limit alcohol to no more than 1
drink a day.
- Eat foods high in fiber to help avoid
- Don't smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to
your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your
chances of quitting for good.
- Stay at a healthy
- Try simple pelvic-floor exercises like Kegels.
Go to the bathroom at several set times each day. Wear clothes that you can
remove easily. Make your path to the bathroom as clear and quick as you
- When you urinate, practice double voiding. This means going
as much as you can, relaxing for a moment, and then going again.
- Use a diary to keep track of your symptoms and any leaking of urine. This can help you and your doctor find the best treatment for you.
If you have symptoms of urinary incontinence, don't be
embarrassed to tell your doctor. Most people with incontinence can be helped or