Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine, oftentimes without warning.
Male urinary incontinence is a common urologic condition that affects thousands of men every year. It may be temporary or chronic, a specific diagnosed condition, or a condition that is associated with another urologic health concern. Men can experience male incontinence at any age.
Types of urinary incontinence
There are several types of urinary incontinence that affect both men and women. Common types include:
- Urge incontinence – A sudden urge to urinate. This type of incontinence is normally associated with overactive bladder.
- Stress incontinence – Urinary leakage triggered by a ‘stressor’ such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, lifting.
- Mixed incontinence – The combination of two or more forms on incontinence, typically stress and urge.
- Functional incontinence – Urinary leakage, or complete loss of urine, that occurs when an individual is unable to get to a restroom in time. This can be the result of mobility problems due to physical restrictions or disease, as well as some medications.
- Overflow incontinence – Urinary leakage due to an overfull bladder. Urine will fill that bladder and then overflow if not relieved in time.
Urinary leakage may present alone or in combination with urinary urgency (sudden need to urinate), dysuria (painful urination), or urinary frequency. Urinary incontinence is usually a daytime condition, however, some individuals experience nighttime leakage.
Evaluation and diagnostic tools for male urinary incontinence
An initial screening to diagnose and determine the cause of urinary incontinence will typically consist of the following:
- Evaluate the patient’s current and past medical history.
- Review medications currently being taken.
- In-office physical exam.
- Urinalysis and urine culture – Used to screen for infection, blood or other abnormalities.
- Post Void Residual – In-office test to determine if any urine remains in the bladder after voiding.
- Urodynamics – This in-office test evaluates how the bladder fills and empties (this requires a secondary appointment).
- Cystoscopy – This test may be utilized to visualize the internal lining of the bladder and urethra.
- Voiding diary – A diary taken over a period of time (3 to 7 days) to capture all fluid intake and output during both day and night.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence
There are a wide range of successful treatment options for patients experiencing incontinence issues. Long-term solutions will depend on individual health issues, the underlying cause of incontinence, and patient preference. Options can include:
- Bladder retraining
- Dietary modifications / bladder diet – to avoid bladder irritants
- Lifestyle changes including smoking cessation – a known bladder irritant
- Limiting fluid intake late in the day
- Maintaining a health weight – to decrease pressure on the bladder
- Maintaining bowel regularity – avoiding constipation and straining
- InterStim Sacral Nerve Therapy – overactive bladder
- Percutaneous Tibial Nerve Stimulation (PTNS) – overactive bladder
- Botox injections in the bladder – overactive bladder
If you are experiencing involuntary loss of urine and would like to be evaluated for male incontinence, contact Urology Austin to schedule an appointment with one of our urologists.