Overflow incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence. It occurs in
men when there is a blockage of the bladder outlet that causes urine to build
up in the bladder. Usually the blockage is caused by an enlarged prostate gland
(benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), cancer of the
prostate, or a narrowing of the
urethra. Eventually the bladder becomes so full that
it cannot hold any more urine, and the pressure forces excess urine past the
obstruction. Overflow incontinence also may occur because the muscle that
expels urine from the bladder (detrusor) is too weak to empty the bladder
normally. Certain medicines also can cause overflow incontinence.
Overflow incontinence usually is treated with surgery to remove the
transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), a
common procedure used to treat BPH. Overflow incontinence also can be treated
with medicines. Some men may need a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to allow
the bladder to empty normally, either by catheterizing themselves when needed
or maintaining a
Foley catheter for continuous drainage.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including some of the most common beliefs about medicine. In our September 2011 issue, we asked Jane Miller, MD, an associate professor of urology at Washington University's School of Medicine, about the link between diaphragms and painful bladder infections.
Q: My friend says I'm getting urinary tract infections because I use a diaphragm. Is she right?
A: It's TRUE. Diaphragm...