Guide to Men's Pelvic Floor Health & Urinary Incontinence
13 July 2020
Did you know 1 in 4 men over the age of 40 years old deals with little dribbles, aka urine leakage, also known as male incontinence?
Just because it's common doesn't mean that you should have to put up with it! Our handy guide, written by Emma James, a Physiotherapist specialising in incontinence, can help:
When we refer to male urinary incontinence it means the unintentional passing of urine. This common problem is thought to affect millions of people, but exact figures aren't readily available due to unnecessary embarrassment and shame felt by men who suffer from it.
Most causes of male urinary incontinence link back to the prostate; they often occur when the prostate may be enlarged, if they have cancer or have had just experienced prostate surgery. It's worth noting though, that it can also be the result of other medical issues. These include nervous system disorders, stroke, and spinal cord injury. Little dribbles also often happen when the pelvic floor has been weakened for a variety of reasons, often linked to the reasons stated above.
There are several types of urinary incontinence in men, including :
- Stress incontinence - when your bladder is under pressure, possibly when you cough or laugh and urine leaks out
- Urge incontinence - you feel a sudden, intense urge to pee, and suffer a little leak then or soon afterwards (It's possible to have a combination of both this and stress incontinence).
- Overflow incontinence (chronic urinary retention) - in this instance, you're unable to fully empty your bladder, and this causes leaking
- Total incontinence - if your bladder can't store any urine, which then causes you to pass urine constantly and have frequent leaking
- Bed wetting - can be caused by stress, and also as a side effect of medication
We completely understand that incontinence in men can be extremely debilitating; and that some find it embarrassing too. However you are not alone. There are both treatments, things to help with, and solutions to many instances of male urinary incontinence.
In the first instance, you should go to your GP for help with male incontinence. They can give you a referral to a physiotherapist who may well be able to help. Lots of physiotherapists, such as Emma James Physiotherapy, can provide multiple solutions to male urinary incontinence and would be more than happy to discuss with you.
One simple solution to male incontinence is a course of treatments on a PelviPower Chair at Emma James. This solution has additional benefits including reduced erectile dysfunction, stimulating blood flow in the genital area, and assisting before / after a prostatectomy (prostate removal) operation with incontinence complaints due to weakness in the pelvic floor.
Emma has written extensively on the power of this chair.
Note : the severity of incontinence may be an indicator into the severity of the cause, but we advise to always discuss your issues with a trained medical professional, in case your incontinence has a different source.
Yes! There are lots of things you can do daily to help male incontinence, including :
- Drink less caffeine
- Losing weight if you're overweight
- Changing the amount of liquid that you consume every day
- Treating constipation, eating more fruit and vegetables and drinking lots of fluids
- Doing less strenuous exercise
- Doing pelvic floor exercises which will help particularly if you have stress incontinence
- Bladder training which will help in particular for urge incontinence sufferers
We completely understand that while this is happening, it can be debilitating for you, and some men can find their leaking embarrassing.
With this in mind there are products, such as those provided by Cheeky Pants, which will help your incontinence be a plastic-free, eco-friendly and cheaper experience. Uncomfortable plastic filled pads or pants should become a thing of the past!
The affordable range of discreet, comfortable men's reusable incontinence pants at Team Cheeky mean that whilst you undertake the work to strengthen your pelvic floor against incontinence, you feel as comfortable as possible.
For more on our partnership with Emma James Physio and the other blogs she's written in this series, visit our blog.