Urinary incontinence is the loss of urine control. It can be a temporary or permanent condition depending on the underlying cause and is more common in women than men. It is difficult to accurately estimate the number of men affected as it is an under reported condition Estimates are in the region of about 5 million men in the United States.
Causes of urinary incontinence:
- Prostate problems and male urinary incontinence: Difficulty and unpredictability in passing urine is a common feature of prostate abnormalities. It can also be a side effect of total prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate).
- Head injury and spinal cord injury: Damage to the head or spinal cord due to disease or trauma can result in loss of bladder control as messages passing from the brain to the bladder are interrupted or lost. The loss can be either on a temporary or permanent basis.
- Diseases that can cause male urinary incontinence: Neurological diseases, both cancerous and benign, degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis are just some of reasons for loss of urination control.
- Infection: In urinary tract infection incontinence may be the only symptom of what can be a serious infection. Treatment is with antibiotics.
- The aging process: Organic brain damage that occurs as we get older can affect both the way in which we function and think. Confusion in time and space can result in incontinence. Body parts are also prone to let us down as we age, just normal wear and tear takes its toll.
- Toxins: Too much alcohol is one is one of the commoner causes of temporary or one off types of incontinence. Any toxins that effect human functioning can effect our ability to pass urine.Medications: Common to this type of incontinence are the drugs that have a sedating effect especially if given in high doses.
- Mental State: Emotional distress and illness can lead to urinary incontinence.
Types of Male Urinary Incontinence:
There are a number of different types of incontinence and they are important in as much as they affect the type of treatment that can be offered to cure or provide maximum assistance to the sufferer.The types are:
- Stress incontinence. This is the most common type of incontinence. Urine can leak during coughing, sneezing and laughing, and lifting heavy objects or in any sort of exercise that puts pressure on the bladder.
- Urge incontinence. This is when you know you want to urinate but you cannot hold it long enough to make it to the restroom in time. It is experienced by people with conditions such Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, after a stroke, in dementia.
- Overflow incontinence. This is when the quantity of urine exceeds the capacity of the bladder and leakage of urine then occurs.
- Functional incontinence. The knowledge that you want to urinate but because of a physical problem you cannot get to the restroom quickly enough.
Treatment and management of urinary incontinence:
Treatment of urinary incontinence depends on the underlying cause of it. It is important that your family doctor is consulted. The doctor should give you a complete physical and from the information that you give him/her and the tests that can be carried out (often very simple) a diagnosis and treatment can often cure or minimize signs and symptoms of male urinary incontinence