Urinary Incontinence (Male)

Urinary incontinence means not being able to control the release of urine from the bladder.

Causes

Common causes of urinary incontinence in men include:

  • Infection

  • Certain medicines

  • Aging

  • Poor pelvic muscle tone

  • Bladder spasms

  • Obesity

  • Trouble urinating and fully emptying the bladder (urinary retention)

Other things that can cause incontinence are:

  • Nervous system diseases

  • Diabetes

  • Sleep apnea

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Prostate surgery

  • Pelvic injury

Constipation and smoking have also been identified as risk factors.

Symptoms

  • Urge incontinence (overactive bladder). This is a sudden urge to urinate. It occurs even though there may not be much urine in the bladder. The need to urinate often during the night is common. It's due to bladder spasms.

  • Stress incontinence. This is urine leakage that you can't control. It can occur with sneezing, coughing, and other actions that put stress on the bladder.

Treatment

Treatment depends on what is causing the condition. Bladder infections are treated with antibiotics. Urinary retention is treated with a bladder catheter.

Home care

Follow these guidelines when caring for yourself at home:

  • Don't have any foods and drinks that may irritate the bladder. This includes:

    • Chocolate

    • Alcohol

    • Caffeine

    • Carbonated drinks

    • Acidic fruits and juices

  • Limit fluids to 6 to 8 cups a day.

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. This will reduce your symptoms.

  • If advised, do regular pelvic muscle-strengthening exercises such as Kegel exercises.

  • If needed, wear absorbent pads to catch urine. Change the pads often. This is for good hygiene and to prevent skin and bladder infections.

  • Bathe daily for good hygiene.

  • If an antibiotic was prescribed to treat a bladder infection, take it until it's finished. Keep taking it even if you are feeling better. This is to make sure your infection has cleared.

  • If a catheter was left in place, keep bacteria from getting into the collection bag. Don't disconnect the catheter from the collection bag.

  • Use a leg band to secure the catheter drainage tube, so it does not pull on the catheter. Drain the collection bag when it becomes full. To do this, use the drain spout at the bottom of the bag. Don't disconnect the bag from the catheter.

  • Don't pull on or try to remove a catheter. The catheter must be removed by a healthcare provider.

  • If you smoke, stop. Ask your provider for help if you can't do this on your own.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever over 100.4ºF (38°C), or as directed by your provider

  • Bladder pain or fullness

  • Belly swelling, nausea, or vomiting

  • Back pain

  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

  • If a catheter was left in place, return if:

    • The catheter falls out

    • The catheter stops draining for 6 hours

    • Your urine gets cloudy or smells bad

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