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Treating Urinary Incontinence in Men

You can’t always control the release of urine. You may leak urine. Or not be able to hold your urine until you can get to a bathroom. This is called urinary incontinence. The problem can be managed with certain treatments or combination of treatments. Talk with your healthcare provider about your treatment choices.

Taking medicines

Man putting pill in his mouth while holding glass of water.

Prescription medicines may help you. They may help:

  • The sphincter to work better. This is the muscle that closes to keep urine from leaking out of the bladder.

  • Stop the bladder from contracting too often to push urine out

  • Relax the bladder muscles and increase the amount of urine the bladder can hold

  • Relax or strengthen the sphincter muscle and allow urine to flow more freely

Making changes to your routine

Certain changes in your daily routine may help. These include:

  • Limiting foods and drinks with caffeine, such as chocolate, tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks

  • Limiting alcoholic drinks and stopping smoking

  • Following a schedule for drinking fluids and peeing (timed voiding)

  • Doing bladder training to control your urge to urinate

  • Getting physical activity and staying at a healthy weight

  • Preventing constipation

  • Doing Kegel exercises daily. These exercises include tightening the muscles in your sphincter and around your bladder to help strengthen them.

Using a catheter

A catheter is a narrow tube that is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. It drains urine. A condom catheter covers the penis. It channels urine into a collection bag. It's worn most of the time. Intermittent catheterization means inserting a catheter to drain the bladder, then removing it. This is done on a regular schedule.

Special therapies

  • Biofeedback. This method is taught by a nurse or physical therapist. During the therapy, a small sensor is placed inside or just outside the anus. Another sensor is placed on your stomach. These sensors read signals from the pelvic floor muscles. When you contract or relax your muscles, these signals show as images on a computer screen. Using the images, you can learn to relax or contract certain muscles. This can help you better control the muscles in your bladder and urethra. And it can help you learn pelvic floor muscle exercises.

  • Electrical stimulation. This is a painless therapy that uses a tiny amount of electrical current. It helps strengthen very weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles. The electric current is sent through the muscles of the pelvic floor and bladder. This causes the muscles to contract. In time, this helps make the muscles stronger.

  • Stimulator implants. This method is used to treat the strong, sudden need to pee (urge incontinence). A small device is implanted under the skin near the buttocks. This device gives off mild electrical signals. These block extra signals that are being sent to the bladder muscles. This helps the bladder work more normally.

Having surgery

If other choices don’t work, surgery may be advised. If surgery is a choice, your healthcare provider can discuss it with you and explain its risks and benefits.

Healing after prostate surgery

Surgery on the prostate gland can cause urinary incontinence. Most often, the incontinence is only for a short time and clears up when healing is complete. In rare cases, prostate surgery can result in lasting (permanent) incontinence. Don't hesitate to talk to your surgeon if you have incontinence after prostate surgery.

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
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