Stress incontinence occurs when a man unintentionally releases a small amount of urine when he coughs, laughs, strains, lifts, or changes posture. It is most common after a man has had his prostate gland removed and there was damage to the nerves or to the external bladder outlet valve (sphincter). After a man's prostate gland is removed, the bladder neck no longer has adequate support from the prostate. The sphincter must then do all the work of maintaining continence, and the extra pressure of sneezing, coughing, or straining forces urine past the outlet.
Stress incontinence is often treated with behavioral therapies but may require surgery if the problem is severe and persistent.