Approximately five million men have urinary incontinence, the inability of the body to control the evacuative functions of urination. When dealing with diagnosis, many are uninformed as they deal with the physical, social, and emotional challenges of the disorder. As everything from weight gain to prostate struggles can cause incontinence, it’s important for men to recognize the causes and know that there are solutions.
1. Losing Weight- As men age, bladder muscles often start to lose strength, and weight gain can put extra pressure on the bladder. Make sure you stay fit and eat properly to keep that extra weight off your bladder muscles.
2. Prostate Enlargement- This is also a symptom of age with many men. Prostate enlargement often blocks the urethra and causes overflow incontinence, meaning the leakage of a small amount of urine or difficulty urinating. There are medications that can reduce enlarged prostates and its effects. Ask your doctor for details.
3. What You’re Drinking- Alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages can cause unnecessary stress to your urinary system. Stay hydrated and drink water when you’re thirsty, but don’t aim for a certain number of glasses a day. Let your body tell you when you need fluids and then choose the healthiest ones.
4. Male-geared products- Most pharmacies sell absorbent or disposable underwear for men should they have leakage issues. They’re not like diapers, but instead look like briefs or boxers, making them feel and look more normal. Additionally, there also are compression pouches for sale that support the urethra. But if the incontinence is severe, external collection units also are available, which fits like a sheath over the penis and has a small collection bag that fits inside regular underwear. Don’t be scared to try a few different products to find the best one for you.
5. Surgery- If all medications and products fail, doctors can insert an artificial rubber sphincter around the urethra to control urine flow or implant a male sling that supports the urethra like a mesh hammock. Urge incontinence also can be treated with sacral nerve stimulation, as a pacemaker-like object is implanted under the skin to send signals to the sacral nerve to control the bladder. Of course, surgery is the last option for many. But again, talk to your doctor, as this may be the most efficient solution for your case of incontinence.