Having trouble holding urine (incontinence) may feel very hard. Your daily life can be very affected if you opt out of activities of fear not to make it to a toilet, to smell like urine or to see the leak through the clothes.
While in most women there are natural causes behind, male incontinence is more often a sign of physical problems. Therefore those who are affected should seek medical help. There may be signs of prostate problems, diabetes, urinary tract infections or bladder stones. But incontinence can also be caused by obesity, smoking (smoker’s cough), diuretics and other medications. Important to remember is that the nerves that control the bladder function worse as you get older.
Different types of incontinence:
Urge incontinence (overactive bladder) means that you suddenly and unexpectedly have to pee and quickly find a toilet. The bladder can sometimes drain before you get there. You need to urinate more often than normal (more than 4-8 times per day) and also several times at night. This type is most common and may be caused by an enlarged prostate.
Stress incontinence means that you leak urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercising, jumping, heavy lifting and other efforts. It is common after prostate surgery (occurs in about 10% of cases).
Mixed incontinence is a combination of urge and stress incontinence and affects about 10-30% of all men.
After drip means urine remains in the upper part of the urethra and it later drips out. It may be due to enlarged prostate or weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Neurological disturbance means you have a neurological disease, spinal cord injury or some other disease that affects the communication between the brain and the bladder. It makes you suddenly leak or pee yourself. You may also have difficulty emptying your bladder completely or partially.
Overflow incontinence means that the urine will flow in periods or all the time. This can be caused for example by a seedy urine bladder.
Training that helps
There are two kinds of exercise that can help you: exercise of the pelvic floor muscles and exercise to hold longer. Pelvic floor training strengthens support around the bladder. Squeeze and tighten the muscles around the rectum and forward around the urethra – the same muscles you use to stop the beam when urinating. Stay for a few seconds and relax for as long, repeat several times in a few minutes. As you become comfortable you can keep the tension extended and repeat several times. Perform exercise once a day for 2-6 months. Up to 70% of those with mild stress urinary incontinence get better or cured by training. It’s important to continue every day even after you get better. And there is no age when it’s too late to start.
The training can also help with after drip problems. There is also a simple technique to get out the most amount of urine. Place two fingers a few centimeters behind the scrotum, push and pull your fingers along the urethra, up against the penis base and out along the penis.
In urge incontinence it is important you holding back as long as you can before you urinate to train the bladder, thus reducing the number of urinations per day.
There are medicines, other aids and electrical stimulation that your doctor or urologist can tell you about. They can advise and prescribe specially designed absorbent incontinence products that also helps against urine smell.
One thing that is important to know is that incontinence does not affect the potency, unless you worry that it will and therefore cause problems caused by worry.