Although Men’s Health Month was last month (June), it’s still very important to bring awareness year-round to common health issues affecting males. One such condition is incontinence, which can affect either gender. This is a condition where one is unable to control their bladder, which can develop suddenly or gradually over a period of time.
Given the private nature of this condition, some men may feel embarrassed and will not seek out medical help. In addition to that, men, as a whole, do not go to the doctor as often as women. Therefore, they are less likely to receive a medical diagnosis and treatment plan and could potentially go years living with incontinence.
With this in mind, we want to provide a short guide to help men understand why they may be experiencing urinary incontinence, what they can expect when they visit a doctor, and potential treatment plans.
What is Male Incontinence?
In a nutshell, male incontinence occurs when a patient can’t control his bladder. There are several types of male urinary incontinence:
- The first is stress incontinence. This occurs when an individual lifts a heavy object or strongly coughs and experiences bladder leakage.
- The second is urge incontinence. When this happens, the bladder contracts for an abnormal reason, which triggers urination.
- The third is mixed incontinence which is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.
- Finally, the fourth is overflow incontinence. This means that the bladder can’t completely empty for some reason (urinary retention) and leakage occurs unexpectedly.
What Causes Male Incontinence?
There are a number of conditions that could potentially cause male urinary incontinence. While aging can certainly perpetuate those conditions, incontinence is not necessarily a normal sign of getting older. Some of the most common causes of male incontinence include an enlarged prostate, Parkinson’s disease, and panic disorder. In addition to that, male incontinence could also be the result of a surgery or certain medications. For example, incontinence is a common side effect of prostate removal surgery.
What Might Your Doctor Recommend?
When a patient schedules an appointment with his doctor, the doctor will conduct a complete diagnostic exam to learn more about the symptoms and rule out specific conditions. He or she may recommend specific lifestyle changes.
In the event of total incontinence, or if the symptoms of incontinence cannot be managed, the patient may require ongoing intermittent catheterization. The doctor and/or nurses will provide information on catheter kits, offer instruction on how to self-cath, and show the patient how to maintain a sterile environment to reduce the chances of an infection. In addition, the team of specialists here at 180 Medical can provide support in choosing the correct catheter for your needs, along with answering your insurance questions, offering billing support, and more.
Male incontinence is more common than you think. If you are experiencing symptoms of incontinence, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to get treated and improve your day-to-day life.