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Health and Medical

A Deeper Understanding of the Prevalence of Incontinence Among Men

Urine leakage is not a gender-specific problem. While incontinence is found more commonly among women, many men experience it. Urinary incontinence affects up to 10% of men in Australia, while only 31% seek help from medical professionals. Faecal incontinence also affects 6% of Australian men. While incontinence pads and sheets have been on the market for a while now, they are bulky, inconvenient and tedious to handle. Therefore, businesses are now producing men’s incontinence pants to help them cope with their incontinence issues with ease and carry on with their everyday lives.

The Mechanics of Incontinence Among Men

In 2010, over 1.17 million people aged 65 years and above living in various communities and over 120,000 living in aged care facilities reported incontinence issues. According to Harvard Medical School, leakage could be a common issue as men age. Leakage usually occurs when a person sneezes, coughs or gets up from a chair. Bladder issues are caused by various factors and can be long or short term.

Most cases of incontinence in the short-term result from health problems or undergoing treatment. Some may experience incontinence if they take medications for depression, cold, sedatives or narcotics that could diminish their bladder control, leading them to use products like men’s incontinence pants. Long-term male incontinence is a chronic issue and may cause concern to the individual. They may have to consult a urologist and undergo tests and treatment to help with the issue. Chronic incontinence usually relates to prostate issues and treatment.

Many men may also be under the impression that urinary incontinence is an issue that naturally happens with age. While it is prevalent among the elderly, it is not a normal condition that all men go through.

Types of Male Incontinence

Overflow Incontinence

When a person experiences overflow incontinence, the likely reason is that their body produces more urine than their bladder can hold. It could also be when the bladder cannot hold it in. These conditions occur when the bladder muscles cannot contract to control urine discharge, or there may be a blockage. It results in leakage where the urine dribbles down the bladder constantly. Therefore, the person might urinate in small amounts when he goes to the bathroom but does so frequently. Additionally, benign prostate hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate gland can cause urine overflow.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress Urinary Incontinence or SUI occurs when the pelvic muscles of the bladder stretch and cause them to go weak. It reduces the bladder’s support, resulting in the sphincter muscle taking the pressure of retaining urine. This phenomenon results in urine leaking out when a person coughs, sneezes or indulges in a physical activity that puts pressure on their bladder. While SUI is relatively more common among women, some men do suffer from the issue. Among men, heavy lifting can increase their chances of experiencing SUI.

Read More: How to live a healthy lifestyle

Overactive Bladder

The nervous system connecting to the brain’s bladder signals it to empty itself; even though the bladder may not be full when one needs to urinate, the bladder muscles squeeze the urine out as they contract. However, those who experience an overactive bladder might urinate without intent or fullness as their bladder muscles malfunction and do not have the means to control it. They result in a strong and sudden need to urinate often, which causes inconvenience and sanitary issues. Men’s incontinence pants prove helpful for such men to prevent them from experiencing the consequences of an overactive bladder in public or at home.

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