Urinary Incontinence In Men Products

February 4, 2018

Urinary incontinence is common and treatable.
Urinary incontinence – when you can’t control your bladder – can be embarrassing. About 3.4 million men in the United States now have it. Despite what you may have heard, it’s not a normal sign of aging. It’s a treatable condition.

Types of urinary incontinence
Stress incontinence occurs when activities such as bending over, lifting or coughing put pressure on the bladder and trigger leakage.

Urgent incontinence occurs when the bladder contracts when it shouldn’t, triggering a sudden and intense need to urinate. The sensation is so intense that it is difficult to get to the toilet in time.

Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Overflow incontinence occurs when you are unable to empty your bladder completely and leak urine unexpectedly.

What causes urinary incontinence in men
Urinary incontinence in men can be brought on by conditions such as an enlarged prostate, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Urinary incontinence is also common after certain types of prostate surgery. Sometimes it can develop for reasons we don’t fully understand, like an overactive bladder (OAB). In order for you to get the right treatment, your doctor will need to find the cause of your problem.

How to manage symptoms
Some people have had success by spacing their fluid intake during the day and reducing it a few hours before bedtime. If that helps, stick with it. But don’t limit yourself too much – you may become dehydrated. Not drinking enough fluids can lead to complications such as bladder infections, which can make urinary incontinence worse.

Think before you drink.
For some men, caffeine seems to irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms. Soda and other carbonated drinks can have the same effect. Alcohol is a diuretic – it makes you pee more, which is the last thing you need. Cut back on tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol and see if that makes a difference for you.

Adjust your diet
Many men say that spicy or acidic foods can make incontinence, which is linked to an overactive bladder, worse. Others say that staying away from chocolate and artificial sweeteners helps. The specific triggers vary from person to person. Some people find that diet doesn’t seem to have any effect. To find out, keep a food diary to track possible triggers. Try reducing their intake for a week at a time and see if your symptoms change.

Reducing stress can help
Living with urinary incontinence can be stressful. Simple relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises or meditation, can help you cope with your symptoms. Biofeedback is another approach – you watch a monitor that provides you with real-time information about the muscles around your bladder contracting. Over time, you can learn how to relax your body, relieve your muscles, and perhaps manage your symptoms.

How to train your bladder
Try using behavioral techniques, such as bladder training. Start by going to the bathroom every half hour to pee, whether you have the urge or not. As you get used to this rhythm, gradually – over a few days or weeks – lengthen the intervals between trips to the bathroom. Eventually, you may be able to lengthen your bathroom intervals to 3 to 4 hours, with fewer urges in between.

Track your frequency of urination
To help find the cause of urinary incontinence, keep a record of how much you drink and how often you urinate over a few days. Make a note of any leaks and any possible causes of them – drinking large amounts of water, lifting heavy objects. Take your records to your doctor. This will help your doctor better understand your symptoms and can provide clues about the cause of the condition.

Exercise your muscles.
For men, Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic muscles and help the bladder to hold in urine. Kegel exercises are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Start by finding the right muscles – the ones you use to stop yourself from expelling gas. Then simply tense, hold, and then release. Build up slowly until you’re doing three to four sets of 10 each a day. You can do them lying down, standing, or even sitting at your desk.

Why incontinence pads help
Many men scoff at the idea of using pads or disposable underwear. But not only do they stop leaks, they also protect your skin from irritation and stop smells. Best of all, they can help you get back on your feet. You may be surprised at the number of product options available. Unlike the big, bulky “adult diapers” you’d expect, today’s incontinence pads and underwear are designed to be comfortable and undetectable.

Pads and underwear options
The product you choose should depend on your symptoms. For severe incontinence, the ideal choice may be a highly absorbent protector or disposable underwear. Men with milder symptoms may need less protection. Drip collectors are disposable padded sheaths that surround the penis; they are suitable for minor leaks or drips. The pads can be tucked into underpants and attached with an adhesive tab. They are designed for mild to moderate leaks.

Medication for male urinary incontinence
For men with urge incontinence, medications may be helpful. Some medications relax the muscles and help prevent unnecessary bladder contractions. Other medications block the nerve signals to the bladder, causing it to contract at the wrong time. Medications that shrink an enlarged prostate can help with other urinary problems. Medications such as diuretic “water pills” may actually trigger or worsen urinary incontinence.

Urinary Incontinence Surgery and Other Options
The surgical protocol includes a sling for male stress urinary incontinence. The material is wrapped around the urethra to compress the urethra and prevent leakage from coughing, sneezing or strenuous activity. An implanted artificial sphincter can also help treat stress urinary incontinence. It uses a cuff to close the urethra. When you want to pee, the squeeze pump opens the cuff and releases the urine. A pacemaker-like device (shown above) stimulates the nerves and relaxes the bladder and pelvic floor muscles.

Incontinence equipment and products
External catheters are rolled around the penis like a condom to catch urine. They’re attached to a drainage bag that can be hung next to the bed while you sleep or strapped to your body under your clothes during the day. If overflow incontinence is a problem, you may want to consider intermittent catheterization – where a tube is placed through the urethra into the bladder at a predetermined time – to empty the bladder periodically and help prevent leakage of urine. Talk to your doctor about this.

be prepared
Urinary incontinence can strike at inconvenient times. When you walk into a restaurant or store, note the location of the restroom so you can get there quickly. Planning a car trip? Mark your route on a map and identify where you will be going to the restroom. Wear clothes that are easy to take off in a hurry. And always have spare pads and plastic urinals in your car in case you need them.

Lending a helping hand
If you’re always anxious about leaks, you’ll start to feel tired. Your social life may be affected. You may not even want to leave the house. If this is what your life has become, you can change that. Find a support group or therapist. Or go back to your doctor and see if there is anything different you can try. Remember, urinary incontinence is almost always treatable.