Male Incontinence Treatment
Male incontinence should not cause embarrassment. It is a medical problem, like arthritis or diabetes, and it is important that you get treatment. Male incontinence can often be successfully managed with behavioral therapy, medications, catheters, or other options.
Options to treat male incontinence may include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Urethral injections
- Artificial sphincter
- Male sling
- Urinary diversion.
No single option works for everyone. Your treatment plan will depend on the following factors:
- The type and severity of your problem
- Your lifestyle
- Your preferences.
Your healthcare provider should always try to begin with the simplest options. Many men regain urinary control by changing a few habits and doing exercises to strengthen the muscles that hold urine in the bladder.
If these behavioral treatments do not work, you may choose to try medicines or a continence device, which is typically either an artificial sphincter or a catheter. Finally, for some men, surgery is the best choice.
Behavioral Treatments for Male Incontinence
For some men, avoiding incontinence is as simple as limiting fluids at certain times of the day or planning regular trips to the bathroom, which is a therapy called timed voiding or bladder training. As you gain control, you can extend the time between trips.
Bladder training also includes Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which help hold urine in the bladder. Extensive studies have not yet shown that Kegel exercises are effective in reducing incontinence in men, but many clinicians find them to be an important element in therapy.
Some people with nerve damage cannot tell whether they are doing Kegel exercises correctly. If you are not sure, you may still be able to learn proper form by doing special training with one or both of the following:
- Electrical stimulation.
Biofeedback uses sensors to detect muscle activity and creates a visual or audio signal when the appropriate muscles are being used.
A small probe, about the size of a pen, is inserted into the anus to record muscle contractions during the exercises. If you squeeze the right muscle, you will see a change on a television screen or hear a tone from a speaker.
Mild electrical pulses delivered to the pelvic muscles cause them to contract and grow stronger. This technique can also help you locate the right muscles to use during Kegel exercises.