Urinary incontinence can be relatively minor and infrequent or chronic and significant, resulting in regular soaking of undergarments. Over time, the symptoms of incontinence can change. The primary types of incontinence include:
urge incontinence, characterized by a sudden and undeniable urge to urinate followed by urine leakage; urge incontinence increases the need to urinate more frequently and may wake you during the night;
stress incontinence, which causes leakage when you sneeze, laugh, cough or exercise;
overflow incontinence, which results when the bladder doesn't empty completely and causes continual leakage or dribbling;
mixed incontinence, which describes a condition where more than one type of incontinence is present.
Different types of urinary incontinence require different treatment approaches.
Some of the most common causes of chronic urinary incontinence in men include:
blockage along the urinary tract, most commonly from a tumor
Temporary or acute incontinence can occur as a result of an infection.
Some lifestyle factors can also contribute to urinary incontinence, including:
caffeinated or carbonated beverages
corn syrup or artificial sweeteners
high-acid foods including citrus fruits
older age, which can result in muscle laxity
Certain medications can also cause or exacerbate urinary incontinence, including sedatives, muscle relaxants, and blood pressure medications.
Urinary incontinence can be managed in different ways depending on the type of incontinence you're experiencing. Both medical treatments and surgery are available to help treat the underlying causes and prevent urine leakage. Medicines to relax the bladder muscles are often the most common first step, followed by interventions like BOTOX injections or nerve stimulators. Surgery is usually considered when less invasive methods fail to provide relief.
Leonard W. Liang, M.D., is a provider for Medicare and most major insurance plans, and provides insurance billing. You are responsible for co-payments or charges that are not covered by your insurance. If you have questions regarding billing or which insurance plans we accept, please contact us. Questions regarding insurance coverage and benefits should be directed to your employer or insurance company.
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