Urination is a complex process that the body performs to remove body waste. In simple terms, our kidneys produce urine and stores in the urinary bladder. The urinary bladder is further connected with valves (urethral sphincters in the urethra that connects to urethral orifice) that helps in emptying the urination of our body. When the bladder has excessive urine collected, it sends alerts through our spinal cord to the brain, and if it is not an appropriate place or time, the brain sends back signals to hold on. If held for too long, it causes a piercing pain and involuntary leakage of urine. We need to know this to understand urinary incontinence.
Let us understand more about it.
What are some of the urinary incontinence in men?
- Stress incontinence – When you hold your urine for too long without being aware of it, any kind of stress might trigger to release the urine. For example, laughing, coughing, sneezing, bending and other such body movements that create abdominal pressure on our urinary bladder. The tissues that hold the bladder gets weak and no longer supports the bladder to hold the urine and leakage happens without knowing about it. This happens due to aging, unhealthy lifestyle or removal of the prostate gland due to prostate cancer.
- Urge incontinence – This generally happens when the urinary bladder has weak walls. The bladder sends frequent signals to the brain through the spinal cord even when it is not entirely full. The causes of such an overactive bladder are weak refractory muscles that tend to contract in a disordered manner. Probably, the nervous system is also to be blamed for urge incontinence.
- Overflow incontinence – There are times when men experience the problem of not being able to empty the urinary bladder entirely, which leads to periodic dribbling of urine even when they are done. This also happens due to weak urinary muscles or a narrow urethral opening. The cause for this disorder is enlarged prostate or Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or BPH. The enlarged prostate blocks the urinal flow with its tissues narrowing down the urethra.
What are the treatments to urinary incontinence?
- Routine liquid intake – Drinking water or liquid intake should be strictly followed with a routine. Before travelling, important event, meeting or going to bed, make sure you drink limited water. You can cover up this water limitation by drinking a manageable amount of water when you are relaxed. Make sure that you do not dehydrate yourself because this will cause infection and make the incontinence even worse.
- Say no to caffeine and alcohol – Caffeine, tea, soda and alcohol serve as a bad partner for your overall health. These drinks trigger nervous and muscle movements in a negative way, and you would feel a constant need to pee. Even if you can’t ignore this entirely, try to cut down as much as you can.
- Routine leaking / Exercise – Pelvic floor muscle exercise like Kegel exercise is a great way to strengthen your pelvic muscles. This will help a lot in controlling the urinary bladder with ease. The next one is to create a routine to go to the toilet and stick to it. It will train your mind and bladder to control the urge of wanting to go to the bathroom frequently.
- Lifestyle changes – Introduce breathing exercises like meditation and yoga to your life. These two are great stress busters and can help your muscles relax.
Incontinence is embarrassing as urination is considered as a very private affair. If the situation worsens, try to take doctor’s advice as medications like imipramine, antispasmodics and alpha-blockers can also help. Surgery should be the final option that c\you can opt for, and your doctor would be the best person to suggest better.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP