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This is part two of this month’s blog posts on Men’s Health. Last week there was a very informative post on Chronic prostatitis. This week we are focusing on urinary incontinence, what it is and why it happens.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine or any uncontrolled leakage. There are 2 types of leakage:
• stress: leaking with activity such as a cough laugh
• urge: the bladder tells you it needs to empty when you shouldn’t really have to (the messages from the bladder to the brain get distorted)
Causes of urinary incontinence:
The most well known one is the surgery for cancer of the prostate; Prostatectomy. The prostate gland itself plays a role in supporting the bladder and the surgery removes this gland but can also lead to some trauma of the pelvic floor muscles; those very important muscles that keep you dry. Urinary incontinence is a known side effect of prostatectomy and recovery can take from a few weeks up to twelve months. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles even for just a few weeks before your surgery has been shown to reduce the symptoms of incontinence post-op. Even if you don’t get to work on the muscles before your surgery finding the muscle and learning to exercise it properly is of utmost importance after the operation. It is vital in learning to regain control of your waterworks. Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we have years of experience in helping men through this traumatic period.
Other causes of urinary incontinence include Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). As the title says this is a benign (non cancerous) enlargement of the prostate. Enlargement of the prostate is a normal aging process but it can interfere with bladder control leading to urinary incontinence, urinary frequency (multiple trips to the toilet), incomplete emptying and slow urinary stream. Physiotherapy won’t alter the size of your bladder but good control of your pelvic floor muscles will help with the frequency and incontinence. Other treatment options include GP prescribed medication and a surgical procedure to free the urethra the tube that passes from the bladder to the penis.
Poor toileting habits are also a cause of urinary incontinence. Like any muscle “if you don’t use it you lose it “. If you always answer the call to empty your bladder immediately then your pelvic floor muscles won’t be strong enough to hold on when needed. Part of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is practicing holding on for short periods so you won’t leak just as you are approaching the toilet.
We also have more information on Men’s Health and urinary incontinence on our website if you would like further information. Click on this link and then the tab labeled urinary incontinence. We also have another great resource for you to look at. The website Men against Cancer is fantastic page to get more information on urinary incontinence and other male related health issues.
Here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic we have years of experience in helping men through this traumatic period. As previously stated getting physiotherapy for this condition is very important. Book in with Aileen MaGuire who is an expert in this area. We have an online booking service or you can also call us on (01) 660 6582.