Tag Archives: Male Incontinence

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Men Tend To Deal With Incontinence Over Seeking Help

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According to the Urology Care Foundation, anywhere from a quarter to one-third of Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, this statistic isn’t nearly as definitive as the numerical data of other common medical conditions simply because many who have urinary incontinence don’t always seek help.

Far too often, patients are too embarrassed to tell a doctor about their urinary incontinence and its associated symptoms, ultimately letting themselves suffer in silence. While there is absolutely no shame in seeking treatment for urinary incontinence, many Americans would rather submit themselves to the ever-enduring painful spasms. This is especially true for men.

Although we generally associate cases of incontinence with women, it’s not uncommon for men to have it either. However, since incontinence is strongly associated with women, men who do develop it feel too ashamed to speak up. While this greatly hinders the capability of incontinence studies, it also forms the stigma that incontinence is a ‘woman’s affliction’. Doctors, researchers, and other medical practitioners are working hard to end this inaccurate ideology and give both men and women the confidence and assurance to speak up about their battle with urinary incontinence.

Urinary Incontinence in Men

The true number of men who suffer from urinary incontinence is very much unknown. This is largely because many studies on urinary incontinence are centered around women, as well as the fact that most men don’t seek treatment for it. In one study conducted by the National Association for Continence, research showed that roughly 18% of men with symptoms of incontinence discussed the issue with a doctor (source). And while that 18% is only comprised of the few men who stepped forward and admitted their ailment, that still leaves over millions and millions of Americans with undiagnosed symptoms.

Additionally, in a separate study organized by UT Southwestern and published in the journal Urology, researchers found that men who suffer from stress incontinence–incontinence that occurs from physical activity, coughing, exertion, etc.–will suffer the symptoms for approximately two years before seeking help from a medical professional. Additionally, about one-third will wait for more than five years (source).

Diagnosis and Treatment

Urinary incontinence in men could develop as a side effect from certain medications, surgeries (especially prostatectomies), aging, and more. It’s true that male incontinence is not as widespread as incontinence in women, but it is still a very common occurrence. In light of this pressing issue, Dr. Joceline Fuchs, Assistant Instructor of Urology, explains, “Our goal is to spread the word that effective treatments exist for men with stress urinary incontinence, but also to facilitate an immediate and accurate diagnosis among stress urinary incontinence patients.” It’s true, there are many different treatment methods that greatly help soothe symptoms, decrease the frequency of urination, and altogether improve the quality of life for many patients. Unfortunately, even with this information out there and prominent, millions of men and women still refuse to seek treatment.

To get a better understand as to why so many men hide their pain with urinary incontinence, the researchers at UT Southwestern decided to conduct an alternative study. In this study, researchers reviewed the cases of 572 men who were evaluated for anti-incontinence surgery in Dallas, Texas between 2007 and 2017. In their research, they found that the median length of time the men waited to seek professional help was 32 months. More than a third of this group waited over five years. Additionally, the group of patients who were in their 80’s claimed to of waited approximately seven years.

Currently, doctors and medical officials are still working tirelessly to show that urinary incontinence in men is entirely normalized. Most importantly, seeking treatment can make all the difference in their lives.

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Are Artificial Urinary Sphincters The Answer For Male Incontinence?

male-incontinence

Urinary incontinence affects many men and women across the globe, causing pain, discomfort, embarrassment, and a lower quality of life. However, in a recent study, doctors may have found a way to treat severe urinary incontinence in men. Artificial urinary sphincters might be the answer men with urinary incontinence have been looking for.

The Artificial Urinary Sphincter

For the first time ever, an artificial sphincter was used to treat a case of urinary incontinence in South Africa. To insert the urinary sphincter, a minimally invasive surgery is required. The device is implanted in the groin area and requires zero external parts for the utmost discretion. Behind this groundbreaking surgery is Dr. Johan Venter at the Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. Dr. Venter and his team led the surgery and requested this unique technology for one of his patients who suffered greatly from urinary incontinence. After the success of the surgery, Dr. Johan Venter and the hospital released a statement regarding the success behind the artificial urinary sphincter and believes that it is the answer for those who need help controlling their urinary incontinence–even if they experienced severe damage from an original urinary sphincter (non-artificial). Dr. Venter stated, “We are particularly impressed by this new-generation artificial urinary sphincter option, our investigations revealing that it was the best alternative available globally for cases like this. Some of the advantages it offers include that it’s easy for patients to use and does not require further invasive surgeries, should it require adjustment in the future” (source).    

Additionally, Dr. Venter explained that this innovative device is equipped with a pump that the patient can apply pressure to every time he needs to urinate. This pump is made of a soft silicone material and is very easy (and painless) for the patient to use. Additionally, this pump will deactivate the sphincter cuff, this way, the patient is able to urinate normally. However, just like any new device, there are a few factors that can cause damage to the sphincter. If the sphincter is damaged in any way, it can cause further damage to the pelvic wall, and even cause increased urinary and bowel problems. Therefore, doctors do head warning and advice patients to take it easy after surgery.

Advancing The Fight Against Urinary Incontinence

Regardless, this new device is a major step in the right direction for surgical and medicinal practices of urinary incontinence. Finally, doctors are able to provide patients with a way to subdue their urinary incontinence without requiring them to undergo ample surgeries or take a wild concoction of medicine. As time goes on, we are sure to see how well the new, artificial urinary sphincter treats urinary incontinence.  

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Kegels Can Help Men With Incontinence Too

male-pelvis

The term ‘Kegels’ is commonly associated as an exercise that’s customarily designed for women. Kegels are the go-to exercise for women to perform in an effort to minimize episodes of incontinence in a safe, natural, and effective way. This exercise is especially popular in groups of women who have just given birth are in need of an easy method to strengthen their pelvic muscles.

However, studies have shown that not only are Kegels beneficial for women with incontinence, they have the ability to be very useful for men, as well. Yes, you read that right; Kegels can help men with incontinence! Men, if your pelvic muscles are growing weaker with age and your incontinence occurrences are becoming more frequent, it may be time to add Kegels to your daily routine.

Incontinence in Men

Incontinence in men is an issue that occurs more frequently than most would think. Many times, male incontinence starts with the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles which severely affects the overall support this is needed by the bladder and urethra. From there, any sudden movement such as running, jumping, sneezing, coughing, laughing, and even walking too fast, can incite urinary leakage; more commonly known as stress incontinence. If you find that you suffer from stress incontinence, do not fret; the treatment process may be a lot simpler than you think.

Kegels… For Men?

Studies have shown that participating in Kegel exercises on a daily basis can help to strengthen your pelvic muscles, and therefore, improve your stress incontinence.

Way back in 2005, the Journal of European Urology conducted a study with 300 post-prostatectomy incontinence patients in 2 groups of 150. The first group was assigned to perform Kegel exercises on a daily basis, while the other group as assigned nothing. In a matter of 6 months, 95% of the patients in the first group gained full control over their continence and did not experience any episodes of leakage. Not to mention, 19% of those same patients were able to eliminate their incontinence problem within the first month, alone. From this research, it’s fair to say that Kegel exercises truly have a positive effect on incontinence.

It’s true that Kegels may have a ‘womanly’ connotation but regardless of its stature, it’s proven to be a helpful method of naturally treating male incontinence through the strengthening of the pelvic muscles. Surprisingly enough, the pelvic floor muscles play an important role in the overall health of both men and women. It’s essential to have strong pelvic muscles in order to attain proper bladder function, bowel function, and peak sexual health. And the best way to keep our pelvic muscles in superb condition is through the consistent performance of Kegels.

Kegels Are Even Effective For Other Issues

If you do not suffer from male incontinence but other symptoms such as:

  • Frequent constipation
  • Uncontrollable bowels
  • Erectile disfunction 
  • Being overweight

Then your pelvic floor muscle may be suffering and in need of daily strengthening exercises, such as Kegels. However, if you find that your Kegel exercises are not improving any of the issues listed above, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss a treatment plan that would work best for your specific needs.

Wearever Is Here to Help

Building your pelvic strength through Kegels to prevent male incontinence is something that takes time, consistency, and patience.

Therefore, until a noticeable difference is observed, be sure to always have your Wearever incontinence briefs on in case of any incontinence leaks during your Kegel exercises. If you are not experiencing results immediately, do not panic; results will come in time as long as you are making a conscious and consistent effort to perform your Kegel exercises routinely.

Young Veterans and Incontinence Issues

Wearever Incontinence Products for Young Veterans

According to Internal Medicine News, men under than the age of 55 who have served in the U.S. armed forces are almost three times more likely to report urinary incontinence than their nonmilitary peers. Their incontinence could be caused by anything from posttraumatic stress disorder to a physical injury they sustained while on duty. For example, brain injury is a major cause of incontinence. If you lose the ability to control the part of your brain which controls the urge to pass urine, the end result could be an overactive bladder. No matter the cause, however, the results can be somewhat embarrassing. Continue reading