Information for Men
Get the Facts
Incontinence affects 25 million Americans, and 2 out of 3 men ages 30-70 have never discussed bladder health with their doctor. Men are also less likely to talk about it with friends and family, and are more likely to be uninformed: 2 out of 3 men who experience loss of bladder control symptoms do not use any treatment or product to manage their incontinence. (1,2)
Though bladder leakage is often presented as a female issue, it is relatively common among men as well. Whether the cause be a medical condition, an enlarged prostate, or stress, it is important to remember that this inconvenience is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can be easily managed with proper treatment and care. There are several approaches to address various degrees of incontinence in men, and many of them begin with lifestyle changes.
Source: (1) International Continence Society (ICS); (2) National Association for Continence (NAFC)
An important lifestyle change includes a change in diet. If you’re one to have caffeinated items during and after every meal, it’s best to cut back since it can lead to increased production of urine. Weight gain can also create increased urges, as it can add pressure on certain muscles. Cutting sugar and soda out of your diet will greatly increase your ability to prevent issues associated with incontinence. Cutting calories can lead to weight loss and reduced pressure on the bladder itself. Learn more about food and beverage information here.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Kegel exercises are not just for women. Kegel exercises for men can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and bowel function. With practice, Kegel exercises for men can be done discreetly anywhere: at home, in the office, outdoors our even while driving your car. Men can do them sitting down, standing up, or lying on their backs. Kegel exercise can help improve bladder control and muscle tone over time.
Dealing with an Enlarged Prostate
As men get older the risk of developing either an enlarged prostate (BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or Prostate Cancer increases. The most common initial symptoms for enlarged prostate (BPH) and Prostate Cancer are urinary symptoms. These include: frequency of urination, hesitancy and dribbling during urination, and frequent nighttime urination.
Enlarged prostate may be treated with both medication and surgery. Talk with your doctor about your options to discuss treatment programs and options, including:
- Alpha Blockers. These medications relax muscles around the prostate and bladder so that urine can flow more easily.
- 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors. These drugs shrink the prostate by reducing levels of DHT, and can produce results in about three months.
- TURP Surgery. Transurethral Resection of the Prostate is the standard procedure for removing the core of the prostate, which presses on the urethra.
- TUIP Surgery. Transurethral Incision of the Prostate is similar to TURP, but instead of removing the core of the prostate, small incisions are made to reduce pressure.
- Laser Prostatectomy. While there are several types of laser surgery, some are more technically difficult than others. Talk to your doctor about your options.
- Transurethral Thermotherapy. This option utilizes microwave energy to heat prostate tissue while not affecting the surrounding tissues.
- Transurethral Electro-vaporization. This option vaporizes and (clots) prostate tissue, eliminating bleeding or absorption and relieving prostate pressure on the urethra.
Men over 40 with increased risk should have an annual prostate exam. Risk factors include family history, a diet low in fiber but high in fat and red meat. Increased risk is also possible if you are African American. Talk with your physician if you experience urinary incontinence or if there are changes in your prostate condition.
Managing Life Stages in Men
Though rare among younger men, bladder leakage can still happen from added pressure on the bladder, such as stress, strenuous physical activities and sports that result in light bladder leakage. Other contributing factors could include enlarged prostate, surgery on the prostate, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Bladder leakage can increase, as a man gets older. The older a man gets, the more likely it is for problems associated with an enlarged prostate to worsen, increasing the chances of bladder leakage.
Talking to your Doctor
It is always necessary to seek the advice of a healthcare professional to diagnose and treat your condition. It’s always wise to consult a doctor if you witness any changes in your urination habits, as it can sometimes be indicative of underlying health issues that may have gone undiscovered. In some cases, you will be given surgical or medicinal treatment options.
LOBC Products for Men
Choices for products range from absorbent pads that are placed on objects to protect them, to liners and full adult disposable protective underwear and briefs. Products are organized to meet a range of needs by category.
LIGHT is often associated with stress incontinence. It is usually experienced as a dribble of urine that occurs during sneezing, coughing, laughing, or exercise. The most suitable products for light needs are:
- Male guards, which are pads specifically designed for the male anatomy and worn inside undergarments.
MODERATE is often associated with urge incontinence and mixed incontinence (stress + urge). Urge is the feeling of an urge to urinate but the muscles can’t hold until the person can make it to the restroom. The most suitable products for moderate needs are:
- Male guards may be used but as the condition progresses, underwear are recommended for protection that stays more securely in place.
- Protective underwear, which provides protection for moderate leakage and recurring leakage, are worn as undergarments.
- Protective Underwear for Men provides customized design for men and targeted protection for the male anatomy.
HEAVY is often associated with reflex, overflow and functional incontinence, or complete loss of bladder control. The most suitable products for heavy needs are:
- Briefs, which provide protection for heavy incontinence and/or for people with limited mobility, are worn as undergarments. Extra absorbency options are available to provide protection from both bladder and bowel leakage.
- Extended Wear Briefs are extra absorbency briefs that provide up to 12 hour leakage protection ideal for night time use.
- Underpads are disposable pads that are placed on surfaces such as beds and chairs to provide additional protection against leaks.