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Incontinence & Overactive Bladder Health Center

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Depression Linked to Urinary Incontinence in Men

Nearly 5% of American Men Suffer From UI, Study Finds

BPH a Known Cause of Urinary Incontinence

BPH is a well-known cause of UI, says Ira Sharlip, MD, clinical professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Nightly bathroom runs may be the first sign of an enlarged prostate, he tells WebMD. Other symptoms may include trouble starting a stream of urine, leaking, or dribbling, says Sharlip, who was not involved with the study.

That's because an enlarged prostate can press against the urethra (the tube that carries urine out the body) and block the flow of urine. This causes the bladder wall to become irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.

More research is needed to find out why depression and hypertension are associated with higher rates of UI, Markland says.

Medications called diuretics that are often used to treat may play a role, she says. They flush excess fluid from the body and can cause frequent urination.

Some of the drugs used to treat depression may also cause UI, Sharlip says.

"Urinary incontinence is something people don't want to talk about," says Lauren P. Wallner, PhD, MPH, a research fellow in the department of urology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"If you’re having symptoms, bring it to the attention of your health care provider as it can be treated with medication, behavioral therapy and, in severe cases, surgery," she tells WebMD.

This study was presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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