Incontinence and Men

Incontinence in men is more common than many people think. Usually incontinence in men is due to prostate problems, but fortunately there are many treatment options for men with incontinence.

It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 men will experience incontinence at some point in their lives. Most of them are older than 65, but younger men may also have to deal with involuntary loss of urine and feces.

What causes incontinence in men?

The causes of male incontinence are usually innocent with many options for treatment. Incontinence in men often occurs as a result of benign enlargement of the prostate, but medication use and a urinary tract infection can also lead to incontinence symptoms.

  • Incontinence in men is usually the result of prostate problems
  • Men often suffer from dripping or overflow incontinence

Symptoms of incontinence in men

The symptoms of urinary problems in men can be different from person to person: needing to urinate more frequently, difficulty urinating and dripping are a few examples. Dripping is a common symptom caused by weakened bladder or pelvic floor muscles or bad bathroom habits.

In case of (benign) enlargement of the prostate, overflow incontinence can occur. Overflow incontinence is a condition where the urethra is closed/blocked and the bladder becomes fuller and urinating is not possible. Eventually the pressure becomes so high that the urine “overflows.”

Stress incontinence in men, also known as the loss of urine during exertion, is common after prostate surgery.


Male incontinence and taboos – seeking treatment in time

Male incontinence is still surrounded by many taboos. Many men prefer not to talk about incontinence and wait too long to go to the doctor. As a result, men with incontinence often live with the problem for unnecessarily long periods of time, which can end up can aggravating the symptoms even more. By seeking help in time, the chances of making incontinence go away or decreasing the symptoms are greater.

While incontinence and prostate problems are usually innocent, there are several cases each year that turn out to be prostate cancer. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the better prostate cancer can be treated. This is also for the other urinary problems and forms of incontinence - especially when there is blood in the urine or pain when urinating

Prostate problems and incontinence

Incontinence in men is often the result of prostate problems, which is a common problem for men. More than thirty percent of men over the age of 65 will experience prostate problems at some point in their lives.

In most cases, prostate problems arise due to benign enlargement of the prostate, which is the result of hormonal changes associated with aging. The prostate begins to grow in most men aged 45 and older. The growing prostate gland compresses the urethra, making it difficult for men to urinate, resulting in the bladder eventually overflowing

“Incontinence in men is usually the result of a (benign) enlargement of the prostate.”

Although prostate problems and incontinence are usually innocent, it is important to seek help in time. A doctor or general practitioner can determine the cause of incontinence and provide guidance on products, health insurance, specialist referrals, and symptom relieval in order to make the problem more tolerable.

Treatment options for incontinence in men

The treatment of incontinence in men depends on the cause of the problem. A trip to the doctor to determine the type of incontinence is essential. Keeping a urine diary, laboratory examination of the urine and physical examination can help to make a diagnosis.

  • Bladder training can help prevent incontinence in men. Sometimes bladder training is combined with medication or pelvic floor exercises.
  • Stress incontinence or exercise incontinence in men can be treated with pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor physiotherapy. This form of incontinence is common after a prostate operation.
  • An adapted diet can make an important difference. Excess weight can make incontinence symptoms worse.
  • Drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, and eating hot peppers can also increase the risk and symptoms of incontinence.
  • Pay attention to fluid intake. Not drinking enough can cause too concentrated urine, resulting in an irritated bladder. 1.5 liters to 2 liters of water per day for men is the recommended minimum.
  • If pelvic floor exercises do not help and the symptoms are severe, surgery may be an option.
  • The preferred treatment for (benign) enlargement of the prostate is usually surgery.

Incontinence after prostate surgery

For some types of incontinence and urinary problems in men, a solution may be surgery to remove part of the prostate. After surgery, some men experience temporary stress incontinence. Because a part of the sphincter muscle is removed during a prostate procedure, it functions less well during the first weeks after an operation. Usually these problems disappear within a year after surgery. Pelvic floor exercises and pelvic floor physiotherapy can accelerate the recovery.

Product recommendations for men with incontinence

Because many women are used to wearing sanitary pads or panty liners, wearing incontinence products is often less of a hurdle for women to overcome than men. Although some incontinence products can be worn by both women and men, Abena also has products specifically designed for men. 
Thanks to the anatomical shape and protection at the front, Abena Man and Abri-Man are incontinence products specifically designed for men.


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Choose the right product

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right incontinence product, including gender, lifestyle and type of incontinence.

Knowledge Center

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