The highly skilled, well-trained urologists at Marina del Rey Hospital evaluate patients with urinary incontinence and advise an individualized treatment plan. There are several conservative and surgical treatment approaches to treat urinary incontinence. The treatment that is thought to best suit the condition is chosen.
Urinary incontinence (UI) is the term used to explain the loss of bladder control. Patients with UI experience accidental leak of urine from their body. A man may feel a sudden, strong urge to urinate before leaking a substantial amount of urine (urgency incontinence). UI can sometimes be very debilitating. In some men, this condition can cause emotional distress as they try to avoid activities they enjoy such as exercises, which leads to inactivity and a higher chance of developing health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
The chances of urinary incontinence in men increase with age as men are likely to develop prostate gland problems with advancing age. Urinary incontinence is a problem that occurs in about 11-34% of elderly men, and around 2-11% of old men report that UI is a daily concern.
Surgery for the treatment of urgency urinary incontinence is considered as a last resort when all other conservative treatment methods have been ineffective. The surgical treatment includes the implantation of an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) and a male sling under regional or general anesthesia.
Urinary incontinence in men is classified into the following types:
The symptoms of urinary incontinence may vary in their severity and can range from mild dribbling to involuntary, uncontrollable urination. The most common symptoms include:
The diagnosis of UI is made on the basis of a detailed medical history, physical examination, and certain diagnostic tests. During the physical examination, your doctor will check for signs suggestive of medical conditions that are associated with UI. Neurologic testing is done if necessary.
Digital Rectal Examination: this involves the use of a lubricated, gloved finger to check for masses or stool in the rectum and whether there is tenderness or enlargement of the prostate gland.
Diagnostic Tests: the following tests may be ordered to have a better understanding of the condition lying behind UI:
The risk factors that increase a man's chances of developing UI include:
The most common risk factors of UI include surgery for prostate cancer (radical prostatectomy or for benign prostatic hyperplasia transurethral resection of the prostate) that often lead to intrinsic sphincter deficiency. Trauma to the neck of the bladder or prostate gland that may result from a pelvic fracture is a less common risk factor.
Other contributing factors of age-related UI include weakening of connective tissue, genitourinary atrophy, increased incidence of contributing medical conditions, and disability in mobility and cognitive functioning.
Apart from these, the factors that can increase the risk of developing UI include:
Urinary incontinence is a result of improper signaling from the brain to the bladder. The muscles of the bladder may either contract excessively or minimally due to the malfunctioning of the nerves that control the bladder muscles. The sphincters do not function well because of damage to the sphincter muscles or their nerves. Sometimes, UI may develop as a symptom of other conditions such as:
Alternative treatment for urinary incontinence includes the following:
Kegel Exercises: these exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. The exercise involves holding the pelvic floor muscles tight for some time (about 10 counts) and then relaxing it for about 10 counts. This is to be done 20 times, twice a day.
Biofeedback: this helps exercise the right way as it involves the use of a specific machine that indicates which muscles you are exercising.
Relaxation techniques: these methods help you retain urine in your bladder for a longer time before urinating.
Bladder Retraining: this helps your body to get accustomed to regularly spaced bathroom trips.
Other alternative treatments such as acupuncture, hypnosis, Yoga, and herbal remedies may be useful. It is always necessary to inform your doctor about the herbs or supplements that you use.
Herbal remedies: a study has suggested the use of St. John’s Wort for the treatment of urinary incontinence.
Homeopathy: Generally, homeopaths advise the following remedies:
Acupuncture: acupuncture may help strengthen the urinary system.
Here are some measures that could help prevent the development of UI:
Are you suffering from problems with urination? For any questions, information or guidance related to urinary incontinence treatment, get in touch with our specialty-trained, skilled surgeons at Marina del Rey Hospital.