Urinary Incontinence in Men (cont.)
The treatment you and your doctor choose will depend upon what type of urinary incontinence you have and how much you are bothered by your symptoms.
If there is no infection or cancer or other cause that could only be cured by surgery, treatment for incontinence proceeds in stages.
- Behavioral strategies are tried first for all types of incontinence. These include reducing the amount of liquids you drink, eliminating caffeinated and carbonated drinks, and setting a schedule for urinating. See the Home Treatment section of this topic for more information.
- Exercise on a regular basis is important for physical and emotional health. Some men with urinary incontinence stop exercising because they fear that it will cause leakage. But regular exercise is important and can help you manage stress and keep your muscles in tone. Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises can reduce symptoms of urge or stress incontinence.
- Continence products such as absorbent pads or diapers, incontinence clamps, and pressure cuffs may be used if you are progressing through a different treatment and are waiting to see whether your incontinence goes away or if other methods of treatment have failed. But these products should only be used along with a more specific treatment, since they can hide a more serious condition that may be curable.
- Medicines may be prescribed, depending on the cause of your incontinence.
- Antispasmodics and anticholinergics may be prescribed to relax the bladder (for urge incontinence).
- Antibiotics may be prescribed for incontinence caused by infection.
- You may need to avoid medicines that can cause incontinence, such as diet, cold, and allergy medicines.
- Self-catheterization may be tried if you have overflow incontinence from a weak bladder or blockage or if surgery is not the best option for you.
- Surgery is usually considered when it is the only treatment that can cure the incontinence, such as when the condition is caused by a bladder obstruction.
What to think about
Many men who have urge incontinence or overflow incontinence also have an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia). They may want to talk to a doctor about medicine, surgery, or other treatment to relieve their symptoms. For more information, see the topic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
Urinary incontinence can be a problem following treatment for prostate cancer, including radiation therapy and removal of the prostate. For more information, see the topic Prostate Cancer.
Treatment will be different for men who have total incontinence or who cannot comply with or tolerate specific treatments because of a serious illness or disease.