Types and Causes of Male Incontinence – TENA US Store (2024)

The most common types of bladder problems for men

If you experience any of these symptoms, they can be signs of common bladder problems:

•Frequent urge to urinate

•Difficulty in starting to urinate

•Frequent urination at night

•An interrupted or weak urine stream

•Feeling that the bladder is not emptied after urinating

•Urinary dribbling

You may find the symptoms both uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing, but there is help. The best way to establish which type of bladder problem you are dealing with is to consult a doctor who can understand the cause, rule out other issues and begin to help you find the right treatment.

There are a number of different types and causes of weak bladder in males. Read about the main types of urinary incontinence below.

Urge urinary incontinence

Urge incontinence is the most common type of incontinence in men and refers to a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by involuntary leakage. One of the main causes of urge incontinence in men is an enlarged prostate, which causes bladder-emptying difficulties, and gives you the sensation of needing to pass urine when you don’t want to, including during the night. In some cases, such urges may be the result of bladder irritation from an infection, or bladder stones. It can also develop as a complication of a nerve- or brain-related illness such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. But sometimes the cause is unknown.

Stress urinary incontinence

Stress incontinence refers to involuntary leakage that occurs when you exert pressure on your bladder by sneezing, laughing or lifting something heavy, for example. The sphincter or pelvic floor muscles and ligaments that support the bladder are too weak to hold urine in. This type of incontinence is not generally common in men but may develop in some men after prostate surgery.

Post-micturition dribble

This condition involves small involuntary leakages immediately after passing urine, and is the result of urine remaining in the urethra. Many men over 60 experience post-micturition dribble (PMD), but it can also appear at a younger age. PMD may be due to weakness in the pelvic floor muscles that surround the urethra. If so, it can be treated by exercising the pelvic floor muscles, and by milking the urethra after voiding.

When urine remains in the urethra, a dribble can occur after urinating. “Milking” the urethra can be helpful. This is done by pressing gently on the urethra behind the scrotum, to push out the trapped urine.

How to get better

There are different ways to improve your bladder control. Diagnosing and treating an enlarged prostate is one of the most important.Two more examples that may help reduce your urgency feelings are pelvic floor exercises and restricting your intake of alcohol and caffeine. The best way to start regaining control is to consult your doctor so that you can find the best solution for your specific situation.

You're not alone

Urinary leakage happens to 1 in 4 men*, making it a very common occurrence. Naturally, urinary leakage differs from man to man but regardless if you're dealing with just a few drops every now and then or you're dealing with larger leaks, you can rest assured in knowing that there's help available and there are ways to help you stay in control of urinary leakage.

What causes urinary leakage in men?

For the urinary system to do its job, the brain, muscles, and nerves need to work together to hold the urine in the bladder and not release it until you are ready. However, there are many factors that can interfere with this process.

Common causes for urinary leakage are:

•Medication, such as diuretic medications can increase the risk of urinary leakage

•Urinary tract infections

•Temporarily weakened muscles due to prostate surgery

•Changes in prostate size, like a swollen prostate can obstruct urine from passing

•Being overweight puts extra pressure on abdominal and pelvic muscles, which makes it harder to avoid urinary leakage

•Diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's for example)

As you can see, the cause of urinary leakage in men can depend on many factors. Therefore it's important to get a good assessment of your particular situation so you can get the right treatment. This means that it's important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor.

Common types of male incontinence

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence is also known as an "overactive bladder" and it's the most common type of urinary leakage that men suffer from. Urge incontinence is when you experience a sudden urge to urinate, but can't hold it in until you reach a toilet. You may need to urinate more than 4 to 8 times a day, as well as several times during the night. This is often linked to an enlarged prostate or the aftermath of prostate surgery.

Stress incontinence

If coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy weights usually results in urinary leakage, you may be dealing with stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is most common in men who've recently had prostate surgery.


This is when a few drops of urine leak after you've been to the bathroom, even if you've 'waited and shaken'. There are two types of after-dribble men experience, post-micturition dribble and terminal dribble. After-dribble happens because the bladder doesn't empty completely while you urinate. Instead, the urine accumulates in the tube leading from your bladder. A common cause for after-dribble is an enlarged prostate or weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Overflow incontinence

If you have a constant or intermittent flow of urine you might be dealing with overflow incontinence. For men, this is usually caused by something obstructing the flow of urine, causing the bladder to overflow and then leak.

Types and Causes of Male Incontinence
 – TENA US Store (2024)


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