Urinary incontinence is a very common problem in men and women alike. However, most people don’t talk about it or seek help. There’s an unfortunate stigma around urinary incontinence, and many people – especially men – are too embarrassed to talk to their doctor about their symptoms.
Is urinary incontinence a problem for you or a loved one? If so, keep reading. There are plenty of myths about incontinence out there, and you might even believe a few of them yourself. Educating yourself will help you stop feeling embarrassed about your condition, and it will empower you to get the treatment you need.
Myths About Male Urinary Incontinence
1. Men don’t get urinary incontinence.
Many people think that urinary incontinence is a women’s problem. It’s true that pregnancy and childbirth can make women more likely to experience incontinence. However, one out of four people who seeks help for urinary incontinence is male.
2. You probably don’t know any men who deal with urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence in men is much more common than anybody wants to admit. Just because other men don’t talk about it doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing it, too. It’s estimated that over five million American men have bladder trouble. You are not alone in your symptoms.
3. Leaking urine is normal.
It’s not normal to leak urine, but many people with bladder problems don’t realize that. Any type of unintentional leaking is a good reason to get checked out.
4. Urinary incontinence is only a problem for older men.
It’s not just older men who have urinary incontinence. It’s true that older people are at greater risk for incontinence, but young men can have bladder problems, too.
5. Urinary incontinence just means you’re drinking too much water.
Drinking lots of water won’t make a person incontinent if they have a healthy bladder to start with. Some people think that drinking less water will cure them of their incontinence. This isn’t the case and trying to fix bladder problems by drinking less will just dehydrate you. It could even make your incontinence worse.
6. Prostate problems are always the cause of urinary incontinence in men.
Prostate trouble can cause male urinary incontinence, but that’s not the only cause. Injuries and medical problems can also cause bladder problems in men of all ages.
7. Urinary incontinence means you have a small bladder.
There’s really no such thing as a “small bladder” or a “big bladder.” Urinary incontinence may reflect other health problems, but it doesn’t usually have much to do with how big your bladder is.
Truths About Male Urinary Incontinence
1. Anybody can have urinary incontinence – male, female, young, or old.
Bladder problems don’t discriminate. Anybody can have them. There’s a good chance that you know someone who struggles with urinary incontinence.
2. There are many different causes of urinary incontinence.
Illness, injury, prostate surgery, and other health problems can cause urinary incontinence. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your bladder trouble is to get checked out by a medical professional.
3. Incontinence symptoms vary from person to person.
Because urinary incontinence has many different causes, no two cases are exactly alike. For instance, the symptoms of stress incontinence and urge incontinence are different. Some people also have more severe symptoms than others. Even if your symptoms aren’t severe, you should never feel bad about seeking help.
4. Urinary incontinence isn’t a normal part of getting older.
You don’t have to resign yourself to dealing with bladder problems for the rest of your life. Urinary incontinence is treatable, no matter how old you are, so don’t try to convince yourself it’s a normal part of life.
5. Men can do Kegel exercises, too.
If you suffer from stress incontinence – that is, if the muscles that control your bladder are weak – Kegel exercises may help you. To do Kegel exercises, tighten your pelvic floor muscles for several seconds and then relax them. Try to do three sets of 10 contractions every day.
6. There are plenty of treatments for male urinary incontinence.
Medical devices, medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery can all help relieve the symptoms of urinary incontinence in men. If you’re ready to get help, talk to your doctor – there are a lot of options out there.