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Urinary Incontinence in Men: Causes, Types and Taking Control of Bladder Health

Thursday June 17, 2021
Urinary Incontinence in Men: Causes, Types and Taking Control of Bladder Health

1 in 10 men over 65 are living with urinary incontinence. What is male urinary incontinence? What are the causes? And what can be done? Viridian explores the impact of unintentional bladder leakage, managing urinary incontinence and tips on improving bladder health.    


Although urinary incontinence is more common in women, 1 in 10 men are likely to be affected with the condition as they age (however, it should not be considered a normal part of the aging process). This condition contributes to symptoms such as involuntary leakage of urine and increased urgency and frequency to pass urine.  

What causes urinary incontinence in men?  

Urinary incontinence in men is generally a symptom of enlarged prostate and aging. It is estimated that 10% of men over 65 years of age suffer from urinary incontinence [1]. Medication, neurological conditions and being overweight or obese may also increase the risk of incontinence in men.  

How can urinary incontinence affect day-to-day life?

Urinary incontinence may significantly impair quality of life, if not controlled:

- Sleep quality:  Adequate sleep is essential for general health and recovery, however frequent night-time toilet trips and an overwhelming urgency to visit the bathroom can significantly disrupt these ZZZZZZ.  Incontinence may contribute to day-time drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. 

Planning toilet visits: Leaving the house may involve plotting journeys near toilet facilities. Lack of access to them could discourage people from visiting places or socialising.    

Work life: Incontinence can affect an employee’s confidence, concentration at work, performance, and ability to complete tasks without interruptions.  

What are the types and causes of urinary incontinence?

There are many types of urinary incontinence, where the type is usually related to a certain cause:

Stress incontinence occurs due to a leakage from coughing, laughing, or exercising.  It is the most common type.  

Urge incontinence occurs due to an overactive bladder and is linked to involuntary contraction of the bladder walls. 

- Functional incontinence is associated with aging conditions, such as dementia, arthritis and poor mobility.  

Is urinary incontinence treatable?

Although anti-cholinergic medication is often prescribed to treat symptoms, it comes with a variety of negative side effects. Absorbent pads are also sometimes used if symptoms are severe, surgery may also be considered. However, lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the symptoms of urinary incontinence by avoiding smoking and alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.


The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsBladder Health, men's health


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