Incontinence is not a female-only problem. Men, just like women, can experience urinary incontinence for a variety of reasons. And just like their female counterparts, they can find discussing the issue embarrassing, even with their physician.
Treating urinary incontinence starts with an accurate diagnosis. If you’re experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence but aren’t sure how to approach the subject with your physician, you’re not alone.
Read on to learn how to talk to your physician about urinary incontinence.
Types of Male Incontinence
While there are many types of incontinence, the most common are urge, stress, and mixed. Men, similar like women, can suffer from all three in varying degrees. Stress urinary incontinence involves the leakage of urine when performing an activity. Males may dribble or leak urine with laughing, coughing, sneezing. Lifting heavy objects can also cause stress incontinence.
Urge incontinence is when you feel like you have to use the bathroom and are unable to hold your bladder. You may also find that you’re having to urinate more frequently than before.
Mixed urinary incontinence is a combination of both stress and urge. You may experience leakage of urine in variety of situations or find that you can’t hold your bladder until you get to the restroom.
Talking to Your Physician
Making an accurate diagnosis of male urinary incontinence starts with you. Your physician needs as much detailed information as possible to determine if you’re suffering from incontinence.
Prior to your appointment, it’s important to keep track of your urinary habits. Take note of how many times you need to urinate each day, how many times you wake up at night to use the bathroom and the strength of your urine stream.
If you’ve had accidents, write down what you were doing when they occurred as well as what you had them. Also, keep a detailed list of what you what you eat and drink as well. For example, your physician will want to know if you consume caffeine and alcohol.
If you’re seeing a physician for the first time, you also need to give a detailed medical history. Underlying medical conditions can also cause urinary incontinence, so it’s important that your treating physician knows your past medical history.
The best way to treat male urinary incontinence is being honest with yourself and your physician. Even if you feel embarrassed,understand that you’re not alone. Urinary incontinence is not a gender-specific problem. However, in many cases, it can be treated successfully. When it comes to your health, you need to be your own advocate and not be embarrassed.