What Is Stress Incontinence?
Stress incontinence is an involuntary loss of urine in times of putting sudden physical stress on the body. Even from something like a sneeze, stress is forced upon the bladder sphincter, which leaks into the urethra, causing urinary leakage.
This is different from urge incontinence, which occurs when the bladder contracts due to a sudden feeling of urgency to urinate. Stress incontinence is also not related to psychological issues, it is purely physical. Let’s talk about what it is, why it develops, and what you can do about it.
What Is Causing My Stress Incontinence?
The single largest cause of stress incontinence in men is from the removal of an enlarged or cancerous prostate gland, which could have either been due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer. The removal of the prostate can result in damage to the urinary sphincter because the normal support structures are no longer in place.
Once a man has undergone a prostatectomy (full removal of the prostate gland), the bladder neck loses support from the now-gone prostate. The entire burden of continence is thereby placed on an already weakened urinary sphincter, and stress incontinence can result.
If you still have your prostate, other causes of stress incontinence can be the following:
- Age-related weakening of bladder muscles
- High-impact activities over many years
- Overactive bladder
- Nerve damage
- Being overweight
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prior pelvic surgery
For women, childbirth can also contribute to developing stress incontinence. This issue is actually more common in women than in men, because nerve damage or tissue damage during the birthing process is very common.
What Can Cause Sudden Urine Leakage?
There are many things that can cause a sudden loss of urine due to this condition, including the following:
- Standing up
- Getting out of a car
- Lifting a heavy object
- Swinging a golf club
- Having sex
If you are experiencing stress incontinence or any other urinary issue, it’s best to see a skilled urologist for a quick evaluation and treatment.
Treatments for Stress Incontinence
If you are diagnosed as having this condition, your urologist may prescribe one or more things for you to consider in treating the incontinence. These may include special exercises, lifestyle changes (such as controlling your consumption of liquids), and surgery if necessary.
In the meantime, you can use special guards that can be placed in your underwear. These can easily be found at any drug store or pharmacy.
What to Expect at a Urology Exam
Be ready to provide the physician’s office with your general medical history, including:
- A list of all medications and supplements you are taking
- Any chronic illnesses you have
- Any surgeries you have had
- Explanation of what you have noticed that triggers your incontinence
The doctor will then perform a prostate check for enlargement or lumps by performing a digital rectal exam (DRE). They will also check for nerve damage by asking about any numbness, changes in sensation, muscle mass, and more.
Experienced Urologist in Charlotte
If you have been suffering in silence and want to finally address your urinary incontinence with a skilled medical professional, contact our team at the offices of Dr. Richard Natale. Dr. Natale has years of successful experience treating men’s health issues, including enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction (ED), Peyronie’s disease, and urinary incontinence.
Contact us today by calling us at (704) 786-5131 or request an appointment online, and get the answers you need and ways to treat your incontinence once and for all.