Urinary incontinence is the accidental leakage of urine, which is due to the loss of bladder control. Although men are less likely to experience urinary incontinence than women, men can still develop this urologic condition. Urinary incontinence becomes more common as a male patient ages, but it is not an unavoidable part of getting older. It is also a potential side effect of prostate removal surgery.
There are a number of reasons why patients may experience urine leakage:
Urinary incontinence can vary in severity, from light and occasional to heavy and frequent. There are a few different types of urinary incontinence:
It is important to see a urologist for urinary incontinence as it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. There are a number of medical conditions that have urinary incontinence as a symptom. It is also critical to visit a urologist if these symptoms are affecting an individual’s well-being. To diagnose a patient with urinary incontinence, a urologist will perform a physical exam and ask about their medical history. A urologist may ask an individual to perform a movement, which can determine whether the patient has urinary incontinence: keep the mouth shut, squeeze the nose, and exhale hard. Further testing may be administered, including a urinalysis and post-void residual measurement.
Treating urinary incontinence is determined based on its cause, severity, and type. Behavioral treatment techniques are often recommended before suggesting more invasive options. Bladder training can help the patient use the bathroom less often by delaying urination after the need to urinate occurs. Training starts at 10 minutes, and the time increases as the patient gets used to deferring urination. The end goal is to have the patient going to the bathroom every two to four hours. Double voiding is another behavioral technique, where the patient urinates, waits a few minutes, then goes again. This is specialized for the treatment of overflow incontinence. Fluid and diet management may also be suggested along with other behavioral techniques.
If behavioral treatment has not improved urinary incontinence, the patient may need to have a medical device surgically inserted. An apparatus to administer sacral nerve stimulation may be implanted for the treatment of urge incontinence. This sends electrical pulses to the sacral nerves, which are involved in bladder control. If a blockage is causing a patient’s urinary incontinence, a ureteral stent may be inserted through the urethra, guided through the bladder and ureter, and into the kidney. This will remain in the patient’s body for a few days or several months, then removed.
Urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing condition, but the specialized urologists at Academic Urology are here to treat and often cure this problem. We have the experience and knowledge needed to remedy urinary incontinence among other urologic conditions. Call us today to learn more about the treatment options offered at one of our seven convenient locations throughout Arizona.