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Bladder Control Problems and Urinary Incontinence

Bladder control problems range from urinating too frequently to actual urine leakage (urinary incontinence). Urinary incontinence affects millions of people every year yet, many men feel too embarrassed to discuss the issue with their doctor, allowing the problem to continue to interfere with quality of life.

The urologists at Tennessee Urology understand how difficult it can be to open up about urinary incontinence. Our experienced urologists can recommend many new treatments to cure or manage your bladder control condition.

Types of Bladder Control Problems

There are several types of urinary incontinence and some men experience more than one kind.

  • Urge incontinence (Overactive Bladder) – Urine leaks when the bladder inappropriately contracts, and you may not be able to get to the bathroom quickly enough.
  • Stress incontinence – Exercising, coughing, sneezing or other activities put pressure on a weakened bladder sphincter and cause leaks.
  • Overflow incontinence – In this type of incontinence, which mostly affects men, you don’t feel the urge to urinate, your bladder doesn’t empty well and small amounts of urine may leak continuously.
  • Total incontinence – This is the continuous leakage of urine.
  • Mixed incontinence – This is a combination of any of the above types of urinary incontinence.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Men

Certain diseases and conditions that damage nerves can lead to urinary incontinence including:

  • Diabetes
  • Neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis all affect the brain and nervous system and often cause bladder control problems.
  • Spinal cord injuries can interrupt the nerve signals required to control the bladder

Men who have prostate conditions often experience some type of bladder control issues at some point in their lives. These conditions include:

  • BPH/enlarged prostate – BPH affects the flow of the urine from the bladder through the urethra and can cause changes in bladder function.  BPH causes a number of urinary symptoms including weak urine stream, urinary urgency and leakage, frequent urination, nocturia, as well as overactive bladder.
  • Radical prostatectomy – Complete surgical removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) is a common treatment option for men with prostate cancer.  The procedure can cause nerve and/or muscle damage in the area surrounding the prostate, leading to urinary incontinence.
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy – This prostate cancer treatment may result in temporary changes in frequency and urgency of urination or can lead to more permanent bladder problems.
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