Munson Health
Urinary Incontinence -- Male

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by Randall B

(Incontinence, Urinary; Incontinence, Stress; Incontinence, Urge; Incontinence, Overflow; Incontinence, Functional; Stress Incontinence; Urge Incontinence; Overflow Incontinence; Functional Incontinence; Overactive Bladder)



The causes may vary with the type of incontinence.

Urge Incontinence

This is also known as overactive bladder and is the accidental loss of urine when the bladder spasms for no reason. It may be caused by:

Overflow Incontinence

This occurs when the bladder will not empty. The urine builds up and overflows. This leads to leaking of urine. It may be caused by:
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Bladder that is blocked, such as by a scar in the urethra (stricture)
  • Fecal impaction putting pressure on the urethra
  • Drugs (such as antidepressants, hypnotics, antipsychotics, beta-blockers, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Weak bladder muscles
  • Nerve damage

Functional Incontinence

This is when you have normal bladder control, but you are physically unable to reach the toilet in time. It may be a result of a condition like severe arthritis. Drugs that cause confusion or sedation can also lead to functional incontinence.
There may be several different causes for incontinence. In some cases, the cause may also be unclear.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of incontinence include:


Treatments may include:

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy includes:
  • Making muscles stronger by doing Kegel exercises
    • These strengthen the muscles that hold the bladder in place and control urine flow.
    • Painless electrical stimulation is sometimes used. It can strengthen the muscles more quickly. It is helpful for stress incontinence.
  • Creating a regular schedule to empty your bladder (called bladder training). This training may also involve drinking fewer liquids

Weight Loss

Losing weight may help reduce the number of episodes due to stress or urge incontinence. Talk to your doctor about a weight loss program that is right for you.


Medications may be prescribed to relax the bladder muscles. These types of medications are called anticholinergics. They are often used in treating urge incontinence. Examples include:
  • Oxybutynin
  • Tolterodine
  • Darifenacin
  • Solifenaci
  • Fesoterodine
Your doctor may also recommend botulinum toxin injections to help ease symptoms.


Absorbent diapers are often used by men with incontinence.
Catheters are sometimes used to treat more severe cases. External (condom) or internal (Foley) catheters may be used.
Another option is a penile clamp. These clamps are padded and have a sleeve to absorb leakage.
Condom Catheter
condom catheter
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Home Care

  • Take care of your skin by gently cleaning yourself after an episode of incontinence. Let the skin air dry.
  • Make it easier to get to the bathroom. For example, rearrange furniture and remove throw rugs. Add night-lights in the hallway and in the bathroom.
  • If needed, keep a bedpan or urine canister handy in your bedroom.

Nerve Stimulation

Devices like Urgent PC and Inter-Stim may be used to stimulate the nerves. This may involve implanting a thin lead wire with a small electrode tip. This electronic stimulation therapy can be done as a series of treatments in your doctor's office and can help strengthen musecles that control voiding.


In men, surgery may be done to relieve a physical blockage due to an enlarged prostate.
Other procedures involve surgical repair or implants into the bladder sphincter. The sphincter is the gate that allows the urine to flow through.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urology Care Foundation



Canadian Nurse Continence Advisors

Health Canada



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