Urinary Incontinence is a common problem of both men and women. This problem is not a disease, but a mere symptom that brings major embarrassment to the sufferer. In United States, approximately 25 million Americans are suffering from accidental leaking of urine, in which 5 million are men.
Even though study shows, incontinence is more common in women than men between the two women can cope better than men can. Men with a bladder problem face greater emotional and physical challenges this is because aside from the embarrassment that this symptom cause, men are not used to wearing anything uncomfortable unlike women who are so used to wearing protection. Men also do a lot of things that involve heavy lifting, which can definitely put pressure on the urinary bladder. Although, both men and women have activities that cause unwanted leakage of urine, incontinence is a big issue to men than to women. If you are one of the millions of men wondering about the cause and solutions to urinary incontinence, continue reading.
What Is Incontinence
Urinary incontinence occurs when the body fails to hold the urine in the bladder, a sac made up of muscle. The urinary bladder holds the urine, until it is full and when bladder fills up, the nerve signal the sphincter (ring of muscle surrounding urethra) to squeezed shut. The urine travels from the bladder through the urethra, prostate, and penis to get out of the body.
Incontinence happens when the sphincter is weak and damaged, when the urethra is blocked, or when the bladder is squeezed too hard or at the wrong time. By the way, incontinence is not a sign of aging; it is not a normal part of growing old, even though older men are the ones often experiencing involuntary leakage of urine.
What Causes Incontinence
Men with enlarged prostate or have prostate surgery often experience accidental urine leakage. Men with medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and overactive bladder also develop incontinence. This symptom also develops for no reasons at all, so it is necessary to consult with a doctor to understand the cause of your problem.
How to Manage Male Incontinence
Male incontinence is treatable and manageable, so there is no reason to be alarmed. Here are some of the ways to manage your urinary incontinence:
1. Don’t Drink Alcohol
For some men, drinking alcohol and even caffeine aggravate their bladder problem. Alcohol is a diuretic drink, you will surely urinate more when you drink alcoholic beverages. It is best if you cut back on soda, tea, coffee if you can but completely avoid alcohol.
2. Change Your Diet
Some men suffering from incontinence or an overactive bladder worsen their condition when they eat certain foods such as chocolate, acidic foods or spicy foods. The trigger factors vary from person to person, so it is best to keep a diary of what you eat to determine your trigger food. Cutting back on food that worsens your problem can help prevent accidental urine leakage.
3. Urinary Stress Incontinence
If you are living a stressful life, it is time to change your lifestyle and learn to relax. Reducing your life stressors can help manage incontinence. Stress can cause unwanted peeing as you lost control of your muscles. There are techniques that you can learn to relax your body, ease the tension on your muscle, and even control it. Remember, weakened and lost muscle control can make you leak at the wrong time.
Kegel exercise, breathing exercise and meditation study shows help cope with incontinence.
4. Male Incontinence Pads
Most men with incontinence balk at the idea of using pads, because as I have said early on, they are not used to wearing anything down there. Incontinence pads are comfortable to wear, not noticeable, unlike the bulky adult diapers. The pads can help prevent leaks, protect the skin from irritation and odor. It can even help bring back your self-confidence.
Pads are absorbent, great for mild to severe incontinence, and disposable. They are easy to wear, so a good option when you are tired of peeing in your pants every time you sneeze or cough.
5. Incontinence Medication
For men with severe incontinence, or having a hard time coping with the problem taking medications may help you control the bladder. Incontinence medication may help relax the bladder and prevent accidental leakage of urine. The medication block the nerve signals that make the bladder contract. Consult with your doctor to get a prescription for your incontinence.
6. Men Incontinence Products
There are several products available in the market that may help incontinence. These male incontinence aids proved to help men cope with their embarrassing problem. However, some of the products are unconformable to wear. For example, external catheters that roll onto penis to catches the urine attached to drainage bags usually hung on the side of the bed when you are sleeping or strapped under your clothes during the daytime.
Lots of men hate the idea of external catheter as it prevents them from moving properly especially when they are still active and have lost of daytime activities. Men who hate devices or aids often have surgery to treat incontinence.
Surgery is another option you may consider. Men who undergo surgery have a device planted around their urethra. The device works as a pacemaker wherein it stimulates the nerve so the bladder and pelvic muscle relaxes. You may consider surgery as a treatment for incontinence but beware, it is an expensive option.
Male Urinary Incontinence
Some men have successfully dealt with incontinence by scheduling their fluid intake during daytime. They also cut back intake of fluid before bedtime, if this technique helps then it is not a bad idea. However, there is a risk of dehydration that can lead to bladder infections and make the problem worse. You can schedule your fluid intake but make sure you are not restricting yourself too much.
As said before, incontinence is treatable and even manageable more so when you have learned to accept the problem and become prepared for the worse as incontinence often strike at the most inconvenient time. So, be prepared, change your lifestyle and your diet. You should also practice breathing, kegel exercise and consider taking a supplement to increase body protection from infection.
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