Men's Health

What is stress urinary incontinence (bladder leakage)?

Urinary incontinence is a frustrating and sometimes embarrassing condition defined by involuntary leakage.1 Its causes are numerous, but fortunately, so are its treatment options. Life doesn’t have to slow down just because you’re experiencing symptoms of bladder leakage. If you think you may have it, explore the many treatment options available and talk to your urologist about which one is right for your situation.

What causes it?

Leakage is usually the result of a damaged sphincter, the muscle that controls the flow of urine out of the bladder. When the sphincter can’t fully close off the urethra, leakage occurs. For effective diagnosis and treatment, a urologist must determine the exact cause, which may include:

  • Prostate cancer treatments (radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy)2
  • Pelvic trauma or surgery3
  • Diseases and conditions (e.g. diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke)2

Stats

  • Worldwide, over 43 million men suffer from urinary incontinence (stress, mixed, and urge), approximately 10.4 million of whom are suffering from SUI4
  • 3.1 million men in the United States age 60+ suffer from SUI5
  • Rate of SUI ranges from 2.5% up to 69% after prostate surgery6

What are the symptoms?

There are three basic types of urinary incontinence. Proper diagnosis is important for treatment success. Read about the different types below, take this symptom quiz, and talk to your urologist about your responses to determine what type of incontinence you may be experiencing.

 

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI):

Involuntary leakage upon coughing, sneezing, or exertion7

Urge incontinence:

Leakage accompanied by an overwhelming need to urinate (overactive bladder)7

Mixed incontinence:

Leakage associated with both exertion and urgency7  

Options to Try Today

There are many options for handling urinary incontinence, including some that don’t require a physician’s assistance. If you’re just starting to explore treatment options, you may want to try these first.

Lifestyle Modification

Limiting fluid intake, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and exercising pelvic floor muscles (called kegel exercises) may provide some temporary SUI relief.3

Protective Undergarments

Products such as pads, undergarment liners, and absorbent underwear are worn to absorb leaked urine.8

Options That Require a Doctor’s Help

Restoring continence, rather than simply managing it, requires a more substantial treatment. Taking the severity of your condition into account, you and your doctor can work together on a treatment plan. It’s important that you understand all the options available, and that you share your thoughts and concerns with your doctor.

Non-surgical Options

  • External penile clamps
  • Interior and exterior penile catheters

Surgical Options

  • Slings
  • Artificial sphincters
  • Compression balloons
  • Bulking agents (e.g., collagen injections)

See what AMS can do for you.

We offer two unique products designed to treat male stress urinary incontinence. Review our treatment options and talk to a urologist about what may work for you.

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Learn more about this condition.

Check out our dedicated male stress urinary incontinence website for additional information, including statistics, testimonials, and more.

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1. Chapple C, Milsom I. Urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse epidemiology and pathophysiology. In: McDougal WS, Wein JW, Kovoussi AC, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Elsevier; 2012:1871-1895.

2. Urinary incontinence in men. National Institute of Health (NIH) Web Site: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/pdf/uimen.pdf. Accessed July 9, 2012.

3. Sandhu, J. Treatment options for male stress urinary incontinence. Nat Rev Urol. 2010;7:223.

4. Irwin C, Kopp Z, Agatep B, Milsom I, Abrams P. Worldwide prevalence estimates of lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction. BJU Int. 2011;108:1134.

5. Anger JT, Saigal CS, Stothers L, Thom DH, Rodriguez LV, Litwin MS. The prevalence of urinary incontinence among community dwelling men: results from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. J Urol. 2006;176:2103-2108.

6. Tewari AK, Bigelow K, Rao S, et al. Anatomical restoration technique of continence mechanism and preservation of puboprostatic collar: a novel modification to achieve early continence in men undergoing robotic prostatectomy. Adult Urol.  2007;69:726-731.

7. Abrams P, Andersson KE, Birder L, et al. Fourth International Consultation on Incontinence Recommendations of the International Scientific Committee: Evaluation and treatment of urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and fecal incontinence. Neurourology and Urodynamics. 2010;29:213-240.

8. Moore K, Lucas M. Management of male urinary incontinence. Indian J Urol. 2010;26(2):8-9.

9. Elterman D, Chughtai B, Sandhu J. Treatment options for male stress urinary incontinence. Eur Urol Rev. 2012;7(2):127-131.