If you struggle with MUI (male urinary incontinence), this article is intended for you; urinary incontinence can disrupt many facets of one’s life but outlining the correct treatment regimen depends largely on the root cause of the problem. To that end, this article will explore the etiology of MUI and treatment options that have proven to be successful for many men.
Treating male urinary incontinence can require a multi-faceted approach; in addition to medications, lifestyle changes may be needed to achieve optimal results. Before delving into treatment options, let’s take a closer look at how UI (urinary incontinence) is diagnosed.
DIAGNOSING MALE URINARY INCONTINENCE
Unlike other medical conditions, diagnosing UI is fairly straightforward; however, your doctor will need to perform a battery of tests to identify the medical problems that may have contributed to your urinary incontinence, which can be the more challenging part of the treatment process. So what type of testing can you expect? Well, in addition to assessing your medical history, your practitioner will perform the following tests:
- Digital rectal exam- This type of exam allows doctors to more easily identify blockages in the rectum that may be contributing to your UI.
- Diagnostic testing- This test may necessitate collecting samples of urine, as well as blood, to identify possible underlying health conditions responsible for your UI.
- Physical exam- This test is commonly used as a barometer for your overall health.
RISK FACTORS FOR MALE URINARY INCONTINENCE
Having detailed what diagnosing male UI entails, let’s take a moment to explore who is most likely to be at risk for developing this medical condition. Although many men are genetically predisposed to developing UI, the majority of these case have to do with their lifestyle choice like smoking, drinking, and leading a sedentary life, for example. Assuming that we can rule out lifestyle and family history, the following can also contribute to male urinary incontinence:
- Bladder or urinary tract infections
- Enlarged Prostate
- Blocked Urinary Tract
- Nerve Damage
- Neurological Disorders
Although women are more likely to develop urinary incontinence, there is a percentage of men that develop the condition as well, especially middle-aged men. In fact, as men age, they are more likely to develop certain diseases and medical conditions that make them more susceptible to diminished bladder control and other urinary problems. One of the biggest contributors to UI is obesity, something that can be managed through the use of portion control and making healthier food choices.
When it comes to treating male UI, there are several options available to you, everything from bulking agents and medication to surgery, in extreme cases. So what is a bulking agent, and what medications are used for treating UI? Well, to better answer these questions, let’s take a look at them individually, starting with bulking agents. They are comprised of synthetic material, which is injected directly into the tissues surrounding the urethra. The pressure that is created as a result of these synthetic materials work help close the urethra when urination is not taking place. With regard to medications, some of the more common UI medications include the following:
- Botulinum toxin type A
These medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs used to treat bladder problems and UI, and they have been hailed as a godsend to those who have found relief as a result of taking them. However, not everyone will respond to medication; in some instances, surgery may be the only viable solution. There are two types of surgeries used to correct male urinary incontinence, an artificial urinary sphincter or a sling procedure. Let’s take a closer look at these two types of surgeries individually.
Artificial urinary sphincter– This surgery involves placing a balloon around the neck of the bladder, which acts as a shut-off valve, turning off the urinary sphincter until you’re ready to urinate.
Sling procedure– This surgery involves using synthetic material to create a pouch around the bladder neck, ensuring that the urethra remains closed whenever there is a sudden activity like sneezing coughing, for example.