Male Incontinence: Causes, Types, and Products
by the IncontinenceSource Editors
Urinary incontinence occurs in 3% to 11% of all men, with a lower prevalence in younger men and increasing percentages with progressing age culminating in higher populations at the age of 70 to 80.1 Of these men, 40% to 80% suffer from urge incontinence, as opposed to stress incontinence (10%). The severity of this incontinence can range from mild to moderate to severe.
Causes and Types of Male Incontinence
Male incontinence has many causes, ranging from trauma to age. The Mayo Clinic provides a clear overview of the types of incontinence a physician may encounter.2 Temporary incontinence is usually caused by an ingested diuretic, an infection, or constipation. The causes of temporary incontinence are often easily treated.
Persistent urinary incontinence is usually caused by an underlying medical condition. Common conditions include enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, a non-cancerous obstruction, neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, and occasionally physical trauma from an accident. Persistent incontinence can take the following forms:
- Stress incontinence –Leakage of urine after coughing, sneezing, or exertion.
- Urge incontinence – a common issue for men with persistent incontinence, indicated by the sudden and intense urge to urinate, followed by a loss of bladder or sphincter control.
- Overflow incontinence – marked by a constant dribbling from a bladder that does not empty correctly.
- Functional incontinence – indicated not by control of bowel or bladder but by the physical or mental abilities of a patient functionally to use the bathroom, such as navigating to the toilet and unzipping pants. Patients with dementia and those suffering from paralysis may be included here.
- Mixed incontinence – any mix of the foregoing symptoms.
- Although the treatments of male incontinence are as myriad as the symptoms, there are fortunately products available to assist patients experiencing these often embarrassing symptoms.
- Incontinence Products for Men
- The highly uncomfortable symptoms of male incontinence can come with social stigmas that prevent patients from seeking the help they need. For these reasons, it's paramount that medical professionals understand the supportive solutions available in incontinence products for men to offer relief to patients in need, whether they are asking or not.
- Absorbent products – solutions that help guard against clothing leaks, thus providing security at home and away. Absorbent products include booster pads, briefs, diapers, and undergarment guards, including specific absorbent incontinence products for men.
- Behavioral modalities – incontinence products for men that work by increasing quality of care. These products include alarms that can detect urine and can help with avoiding painful skin conditions in patients with limited sensitivity.
- Catheters and collection devices – incontinence products for men who are unable to use the restroom in the traditional manner. Choose from differently sized and shaped catheters, including those designed specifically as incontinence products for men, as well as insertion and irrigation trays and collection bags.
- Fecal management systems – incontinence products for men beyond urinary issues, including ostomy supplies, collection, and cleaning. Supplies are available both for bedridden and mobile patients.
- Internal management products – incontinence products for men such as urethral slings and injectable bulking agents as well as artificial sphincters.
- Odor control supplies – incontinence products for men addressing a major patient concern. These supplies can help minimize noticeable odor from incontinence treatments.
In addition to these basic incontinence products for men, don't forget the appropriate accessories to help these items achieve maximum effectiveness. Pair a urine alarm with protective briefs or a diaper to prevent leakage. Make sure catheters and ostomies stay comfortable with the correct taping and placement supplies. Male incontinence affects many men either long or short term, and increased knowledge of both preventative and palliative care is your best tool to help treat these conditions. Learn more about incontinence products for men online at Incontinence Source (www.incontinencesource.com).
1. Nitti VW. The prevalence of urinary incontinence. Rev Urol. 2001;3(Suppl 1): S2–S6.
2. Mayo Clinic. Urinary incontinence. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence/symp.... Accessed on March 10, 2018.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of IncontinenceSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.