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What Causes Urinary Incontinence in Men?

Urinary incontinence (UI) is a loss of bladder control that affects both men and women as they age. But, it’s estimated that up to a third of older men (around 34%) deal with some form of this problem and up to 11% of older men deal with it daily. Urinary incontinence is often a symptom of other conditions, and types of it can cause other problems as well. So, finding out the cause of UI can also help with other underlying issues.

Dr. Mark Kelly uses his extensive experience in treating urological conditions to help people with problems like urinary incontinence.

What are the types of urinary incontinence?

The embarrassing loss of bladder control that causes urinary leakage comes in numerous forms, such as:

There is also the possibility of having more than one form of incontinence, and all can limit your ability to interact socially.

What causes UI?

As men’s bodies undergo changes as they age, many problems that can lead to things like incontinence become more prevalent. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking and lack of physical exercise, contribute over time. Specific food and drinks — like caffeine, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, chili peppers, large doses of vitamin C, and foods high in spices, sugars or acids — may stimulate the bladder and increase the flow of urine. Common conditions that cause UI include constipation, obesity, bladder infections, weak bladder muscles or pelvic floor, loss of sphincter strength, nerve damage, and enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. 

What techniques can treat UI?

A combination of behavioral techniques and medications can be used to treat urinary incontinence. Techniques like fluid management can help with timing activities when you drink and make being around others easier. Bladder training helps with delaying trips to the bathroom to strengthen the bladder and urinary tract. Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises build strength and tighten pelvic and urinary tract muscles. Reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking will also help reduce the chances of UI.

Medications like anticholinergics (Ditropan®) calm overactive bladders, while alpha-blockers help with enlarged prostates. Mirabegron (Myrbetriq®) relaxes bladder muscles and increases the amount you can hold, and Botox® eases bladder muscles.

Surgery can be done to help if nothing else is effective, but it is commonly a last resort.

So, if you’re suffering from the embarrassment of urinary incontinence and need treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Kelly to get the help you need.

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