Urinary incontinence is a problem with the control of urine as it flows out of the body. It may cause rare, minor leaks or more severe wetting. There are different type of urinary incontinence including:
There are several different causes for incontinence. In some cases, the cause may be unclear. Causes can also vary by the type of incontinence:
Men who are older than 65 are most affected. Things that may increase your risk of incontinence include:
Some medicine may increase the risk of incontinence:
Incontinence is any loss of bladder control. Examples include:
Urinary incontinence is a symptom of a change in your body. Call your doctor if you have any loss of urine control. Your doctor can help you find the cause.
The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. They will ask about urine leakage and how often the bladder is emptied. A physical exam will be done. A specialist may also be needed. Urologists are doctors who focus on urinary issues.
Tests to help find the cause of the incontinence may include:
Treating the cause may help to stop or decrease incontinence. If the cause cannot be changed, there are steps to help deal with leakage. Options include:
Some steps you can take at home include:
Losing weight may help reduce leakage due to stress or urge incontinence.
Medications may help for urge incontinence. These types of medications can help to relax the bladder muscles.
Botulinum toxin injections may also be recommended. This can also help the bladder muscle relax.
Tools that may help include:
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You may need surgery if a blockage is causing the problem. The most common problem is an enlarged prostate.
Sometimes the incontinence is caused by a problem with the bladder sphincter. This sphincter is a tight group of muscle that allows urine to flow or stops urine from passing. Surgery may be needed to repair it.
To help prevent incontinence:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Nurse Continence Advisors Association
Bladder control problems in men (urinary incontinence). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/bladder-control-problems-men. Accessed December 19, 2020.
Occhino J, Siegel S. Sacral nerve modulation in overactive bladder. Curr Urol Rep. 2010;11(5):348-352.
Subak L, Wing R, West, DS, et al. Weight loss to treat urinary incontinence in overweight and obese women. N Engl J Med. 2009;360(5):481-490.
Treatment of incontinence. Continence Foundation website. Available at: http://www.continence-foundation.org.uk. Accessed December 19, 2020.
Urinary incontinence. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-incontinence. Accessed December 19, 2020.
Urinary incontinence in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900624/Urinary-incontinence-in-men. Accessed December 19, 2020.
Wein AJ, Rackley RR. Overactive bladder: a better understanding of pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management. J Urol. 2006;175(3 Pt 2):S5-S10.
7/28/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116944/Benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-BPH: Mangera A, Apostolidis A, Andersson KE, et al. An updated systematic review and statistical comparison of standardised mean outcomes for the use of botulinum toxin in the management of lower urinary tract disorders. Eur Urol. 2014;65(5):981-990.
Last reviewed November 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 1/31/2021