Men’s Health

Male Incontinence

Is male incontinence common?

Urinary incontinence (UI) causes accidental leakage of urine. It isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of another condition. This underlying medical issue causes a loss of bladder control.
Both men and women experience UI. The number of people who develop UI increases with age. This is especially true for men. Older men are more likely to experience UI than young men.

What are the symptoms of male incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a symptom of another condition or issue. Certain types of UI can cause symptoms in addition to urine leakage.

These types of UI and symptoms include:

Urgency incontinence: You feel a sudden, urgent need to urinate, followed by accidental leakage.
Stress incontinence: Urine leakage is brought on by quick movements or pressure, such as from coughing.
Overflow incontinence: Your bladder is so full that you have leakage.
Functional incontinence: Physical disabilities, obstacles, or difficulty communicating your need to urinate prevents you from making it to the toilet on time.
Transient incontinence: This temporary UI is often the result of a short-term condition, such as a urinary tract infection. It may be a side effect of medication or other medical issues.
Mixed Incontinence: Incontinence that falls into a two or more of the above categories.

What causes male incontinence?

Figuring out the underlying cause of UI symptoms can help you and your doctor begin treatment.
Conditions that commonly cause UI include:
● chronic cough
● constipation
● obesity
● bladder or urinary tract infections
● an obstruction in the urinary tract
● weak pelvic floor or bladder muscles
● loss of sphincter strength
● nerve damage
● enlarged prostate
● prostate cancer
● neurological disorders, which can interfere with bladder control signals

Other lifestyle factors that may lead to UI include:
● smoking
● drinking
● not being physically active

Who’s at risk for male incontinence?

If you have one or more of these risk factors, you may be more likely to develop UI. These risk factors include:

Age: Men are more likely to develop UI as they grow older. This may be the result of physical changes that make holding urine more difficult. Certain diseases or conditions become more common with older age, and loss of bladder control may be an associated symptom.

Lack of physical activity: Being physically active may increase urine leakage, but not being physically active increases your risk for weight gain and decreases overall strength. This may make symptoms of UI worse.

Obesity: Extra weight on your midsection can place unnecessary pressure on your bladder.
History of certain conditions: Prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate, and treatments for these conditions can lead to temporary or permanent UI. Diabetes can also lead to UI.

History of certain conditions: Prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate, and treatments for these conditions can lead to temporary or permanent UI. Diabetes can also lead to UI.

Neurological issues: Diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis can interfere with your brain’s ability to properly signal your bladder and urinary tract.

Birth defects: You may experience UI if your urinary tract didn’t form correctly during fetal development.

How is this diagnosed?

A diagnosis for UI is relatively straightforward. Figuring out the underlying cause of UI may take more time. To get a diagnosis, your doctor will start by assessing your medical history. From there, additional tests may be needed. These include:

Physical exam: A physical exam can help your doctor identify problems.

Digital rectal exam: This exam helps your doctor find blockages in your rectum. It also helps him detect an enlarged prostate.

Diagnostic tests: Your doctor may take samples of your urine and blood to test for any underlying conditions.

Male incontinence treatment options

Treatment for UI depends on the cause of the problem. Your treatment plan will likely include one or more lifestyle changes in addition to medication. In some cases, more advanced procedures or surgery may be necessary.

Lifestyle changes

Fluid management: Timing food and drink consumption around your activities may help you better control your urge to go. Instead of drinking large amounts of water or other beverages at once, drink smaller amounts at regular intervals throughout the day.

Bladder training: Bladder training requires you to actively delay a trip to the toilet each time you get the urge. Your bladder and urinary tract should grow stronger.

Scheduling trips to the toilet may help you avoid urges. When you do go, urinating twice, once within a few minutes of the other, can help eliminate more urine.

Pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises: These exercises are also known as Kegel exercises. They can help you rebuild strength and tighten muscles in your pelvis and urinary tract system.

Other lifestyle changes may include:

● Be more physically active. It can help you lose weight, prevent constipation, and reduce pressure on your bladder.
● Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. These substances can stimulate your bladder.
● Stop smoking.

Drugs and medications

Several types of medicine are used to treat UI.

● Anticholinergics, such as Oxybutynin (Ditropan), can calm overactive bladder muscles. They treat overactive bladders and urge incontinence.
● Alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin (Flomax), is given for men who have an enlarged prostate. This can help men with urge or overflow incontinence to more fully empty their bladder.
● Mirabegron (Myrbetriq) can relax bladder muscles and help increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold. It can also help you more fully empty your bladder each time you urinate.
● Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) can be injected into your bladder to help ease bladder muscles.


Surgery is often a last resort treatment. Two surgeries are primarily used in men:

Artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) balloon: The balloon is inserted around the neck of your bladder. This helps shut off the urinary sphincter until it’s time to urinate. When you’re ready to urinate, a valve that’s placed under your skin deflates the balloon. Urine is released, and the balloon refills.


Urology San Diego provides comprehensive urological services for men and woman including the treatment of urological cancers, kidney stones, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), overactive bladder, incontinence, bladder prolapse, erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism.

Urology San Diego is a Clinic of Tri-City Healthcare District | Privacy Policy

Copyright Urology San Diego 2020. All rights reserved.