The systems that control the release of urine are complex and can be affected by illness, medications, urinary tract infections, even depression and fatigue.
Urinary Incontinence in men is the involuntary loss of urine usually associated with the prostate gland. Other causes can include: obesity, infection, tumors, nerve damage from a ruptured disk or spinal cord injury and degenerative muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The loss of muscle tone that comes with normal aging can also aggravate incontinence that is due to an enlarged prostate gland.
- urine leakage when coughing, laughing or running
- partial or complete inability to control the bladder
- involuntary, unpredictable urination
What YOU Can Do
- See Your Doctor. Have a urinary tract infection treated promptly.
- Keep your weight down.
- Practice Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
- After the age of 40, have an annual rectal digital exam of the prostate.
- Drink eight to 10 glasses of water each day.
- Limit your fluids after 8:00 p.m.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, especially if you have an enlarged prostate.
- Avoid using cold or allergy medicines, especially if you have an enlarged prostate.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and will cause you to urinate more.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Your urologist will ask you questions about medications, past surgeries and infections. Your penis, rectum and abdominal muscles will be examined and you will be asked to give a urine sample for analysis. Sometimes other tests will help determine the cause. An ultrasound, X-ray or cystoscopic exam (inserting a tube into the urethra to assess bladder muscle function) may also be performed.
The most common treatment for incontinence in older men due to an enlarged prostate is a transurethral resection. This is where part of the enlarged prostate gland is removed. Your doctor may also prescribe medication. If incontinence persists, there are devices available to help keep the urine flow under control.