Leaking urine or urinary incontinence is twice as common in women as in men. It’s also garnered the reputation of something that only happens to women.
Everybody is at risk.
Both men and women can have urine leaks with a simple laugh or cough or be hit with the overwhelming urge to use the bathroom.
The thing is, men seem to have a much harder time coping with the issue. Studies suggest that men with incontinence are less likely to seek treatment and more likely than women to be depressed or avoid social interaction and activities because of it.
There are different types of incontinence with varying treatments based on what’s causing incontinence. By understanding what’s happening, you may be more likely to seek treatment and reduce the condition’s impact on your life.
Urge incontinence is quite common in men. It happens to those with an overactive bladder, where the bladder muscle contracts on its own to create an overwhelming urge to get to the bathroom immediately. If you don’t make it, you could leak a little… or a lot.
An overactive bladder may also be caused by an enlarged prostate or nerve problems that impact the bladder. Side effects from certain medications, like diuretics, and caffeine, can also lead to these urges.
The kind of incontinence caused by coughing, laughing, lifting, exercising, etc., is called stress incontinence. It happens when the muscles that squeeze shut and seal off the bladder are damaged or weakened.
Lastly, there is overflow incontinence, which is when the bladder never fully empties and regularly overflows, leading to constant leaks. This is usually caused by an enlarged prostate that blocks normal urine flow or a bladder muscle that can’t push urine out on its own.
Other conditions may also cause overflow incontinence. This type of incontinence also comes with a higher risk of urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and more.
Treatments exist for each of these forms of incontinence. Speak to your doctor about a diagnosis to help you regain control of your life.