What is stress urinary incontinence (bladder leakage)?
Urinary incontinence is a frustrating and sometimes embarrassing condition defined by involuntary leakage.1 It’s causes are numerous, but fortunately, so are the treatment options. Life doesn’t have to slow down just because you’re experiencing symptoms of bladder leakage. If you are concerned about incontinence, explore the many treatment options available and talk to your urologist about which one is right for your situation.
What Causes It?
Leakage is usually the result of a damaged sphincter, the muscle that controls the flow of urine out of the bladder. When the sphincter can’t fully close off the urethra, leakage occurs. For effective diagnosis and treatment, a urologist must determine the exact cause.
Common causes of bladder leakage include:
- Prostate cancer treatments (radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy)2
- Diseases and conditions (e.g., diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or stroke)2
- Pelvic trauma or surgery3
Statistics on Male Incontinence
- Worldwide, over 43 million men suffer from urinary incontinence (stress, mixed, and urge), approximately 10.4 million of who are suffering from SUI4
- 3.1 million men in the United States ages 60+ suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI)5
- Rate of SUI ranges from 2.5% up to 69% after prostate surgery6
Symptoms of Incontinence
There are three basic types of urinary incontinence. Proper diagnosis is important for treatment success. Read about the different types, take this symptom quiz, and talk to your urologist about your responses to determine what type of incontinence you may be experiencing.
- Stress urinary incontinence (SUI): Involuntary leakage upon coughing, sneezing, or exertion7
- Urge incontinence: Leakage accompanied by overwhelming need to urinate (overactive bladder)7
- Mixed incontinence: Leakage associated with both exertion and urgency7
Options to Try Today
There are many options for handling urinary incontinence, including some that don’t require a physician’s assistance. If you’re just starting to explore treatment options, you may want to try these first.
- Lifestyle Modification - Limiting fluid intake, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and exercising pelvic floor muscles (called kegel exercises) may provide some temporary SUI relief.3
- Protective Undergarments - Products such as pads, undergarment liners, and absorbent underwear are worn to absorb leaked urine.8
Options That Require a Doctor’s Help
Restoring continence, rather than simply managing it, requires a more substantial treatment. Taking the severity of your condition into account, you and your doctor can work together on a treatment plan. It’s important that you understand all the options available, and that you share your thoughts and concerns with your doctor.
- Non-Surgical Options8
- External penile clamps
- Interior and exterior penile catheters
- Surgical Options9
- Artificial sphincters
- Compression balloons
- Bulking agents (e.g., collagen injections)
See What Boston Scientific Can Do For You
With 40 years of innovation in the area of surgical continence solutions, we have developed two unique products designed to treat male stress urinary incontinence. Talk to a urologist about what may work for you.
Finding a Urologist in your area who specializes in the treatment of ED is important.FIND A PHYSICIAN