Understanding urinary incontinence in men

Contrary to popular belief, urinary incontinence does not only affect women and can also affect men. This disease is characterized by any involuntary leakage of urine that causes discomfort to the person and is the daily burden of nearly 2 million men.

Because of the difference between the male and female excretory systems, incontinence can vary from patient to patient. Despite popular belief, there are different types of urinary incontinence that manifest and are treated differently. Focus!

Causes in humans

In many cases, involuntary urine loss in men is the result of medical treatment or surgery. Surgical procedures such as prostatectomy can damage the sphincter tissue and cause temporary or persistent leakage.

Certain conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate gland) can be implicated in male urinary incontinence. Other conditions such as degenerative diseases (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.) or diabetes are sometimes linked to bladder weakness.

Diseases affecting the prostate, bladder or urethra (severe constipation, hypoactive or overactive bladder) are also the cause of male urinary incontinence. Similarly, medication such as diuretics can affect sphincter function. It should be noted that poor lifestyle habits (obesity, poor diet, etc.) are also risk factors.

Les causes de l'incontinence urinaire chez l'homme

Types of incontinence in men

Male bladder weakness manifests itself in different ways. As a result, there are different types of male urinary incontinence.

The exercises

When a man’s incontinence is caused by a sphincter problem, it is possible to use specialized medicine such as physiotherapy. The specialist may suggest exercises to rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles and bladder muscles.

In this way, he or she will be able to better assess muscle function and its involvement in urinary problems. Once this step is completed, the rehabilitation physician will offer an active exercise program tailored to the patient with urinary problems.

It is possible to find a physical therapy professional who offers programs for patients who have just undergone risky surgery. In some cases, exercises to be performed at home with the help of a perineal self-education device are included in the program.

The work is not as effective as that done with the doctor, but it allows you to progress at a good pace. In more than half of the cases of stress incontinence, the practice of these rehabilitation exercises allows us to observe an improvement in the health of the men concerned.


When to consult?

In order to begin receiving proper care, it is crucial that those concerned go to a doctor. When should bladder weakness be considered serious enough to seek medical attention? Men with warning signs such as loss of sensation in the legs or genitals should go directly to the emergency room. Otherwise, watching the symptoms develop over a week before seeking medical attention is not dramatic.

Even in people of advanced age, it is necessary to consult, because incontinence is not a normal attribute of aging. In order to propose adequate solutions, doctors must establish a diagnosis based on a general and specific clinical examination. First, a dialogue must take place with the caregiver and be preceded by the completion of a form with medical details about the patient’s health.

A urine cyto-bacteriological examination (UBE) or urinalysis is regularly required to identify possible urinary tract infections. The person to be treated may be asked to keep a voiding calendar, documenting certain details of urination over a period of time. This may include the time of day, the volume of urine expelled, but also additional observations made in relation to the urine.

The quantification of the volume of urine loss can be ensured by a pad test. This consists of weighing all the urinary protection used during the day to obtain more accurate data. These medical examinations are not systematic, but they can remove any doubt as to the mechanism and causes of the incontinence observed.

Surgical treatments

Depending on the causes identified by the physician as being at the root of male urinary incontinence, treatments can be either medical or surgical. Surgical intervention is usually chosen to correct urinary stress incontinence that occurs after prostate cancer surgery. Priority organs are targeted to address urinary problems in men:

  • the sphincter muscles,
  • the bladder,
  • the urethra.

In cases where the patient does not tolerate oral medication therapy, intravesical botulinum toxin A injection services are an option. These injections help to calm the overactive bladder. However, the effect is only seen for six to nine months and must be repeated regularly.

In order to safeguard the patient’s health as much as possible, the procedure is adapted to the patient’s medical profile, but also to his or her medical history. Most surgical treatments are quick and painless for those who undergo them.

If conventional therapies are not effective in reducing urine loss, there are solutions such as OPTILUME, an innovative treatment for urinary stenosis. Several years after the surgery that caused the incontinence, the patient can expect to receive one of the above mentioned treatments.

Spécialistes de l'urologie Clinique Marois

In Marois clinics across Canada, many specialists in urology and various treatments for male urinary incontinence are open to receive anyone who suffers from it. They offer a warm welcome and, above all, a treatment program that is entirely customized to provide satisfaction and relief.

Contact us To learn more about available treatments

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