Male Urinary Incontinence and Stress Incontinence | Sentara Healthcare
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Male Urinary Incontinence 

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Urinary incontinence is the term used to describe involuntary loss of bladder control. Incontinence occurs because of problems with muscles and nerves that help to hold or release urine. Normally, the bladder stores the urine that is continually produced by the kidneys until it is convenient to urinate, but when any part of the urinary system malfunctions, incontinence can result.

Men with urinary incontinence have difficulty controlling the passage of urine. A small amount of leakage, especially right after urinating, is normal for most men. However, when the leakage becomes more severe and involves wetting of undergarments, many will appropriately seek the opinion of a urologist.

There are four basic types of incontinence:

 Stress incontinence
When pelvic muscles have been damaged, urine may leak during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing or any body movement that puts pressure on the bladder.

 Urge incontinence
When nerve impulses between the bladder and the brain are not well coordinated, the urgent need to pass urine cannot be consciously inhibited, which results in a bladder contraction and urinary leakage. 

 Mixed incontinence
Stress and urge incontinence may often exist together in which case the problem is termed "mixed incontinence."

 Overflow incontinence
In some circumstances the appropriate signals to and from the brain to coordinate urination are absent. Urine will accumulate in the bladder, and without contraction to empty the bladder, eventually small amounts will escape almost continuously. In addition, any process that blocks the urethra and, therefore, prevents emptying when the bladder contracts may also cause overflow incontinence.

Each or any of these problems may exist in men with the following conditions:

 Nerve problems
Spinal cord injury, stroke, Parkinsons disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

 Prostate problems
Enlarged prostate with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS),side effects after prostate surgery, or radiation therapy.

Male Urinary Incontinence Resources
 Diagnostic Tools

This information was compiled with help from the following Web sites. Please see them for more information on male urinary incontinence.
 National Association of Incontinence
 National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information and Clearinghouse

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