Loss of Control of Urine in Men

Welcome to this Guide about Loss of Urine Control for men.

Loss of urine or bladder control (also known as incontinence) is a surprisingly common problem, especially in older men. It's estimated that 1.5 to five percent of men under age 65 experience problems with urine control. After age 65 this number increases to between 15 and 30 percent, and up to half of people in nursing homes lose control of their bladder for some or all of the time.

Loss of urine control may develop for a number of reasons. Problems with the bladder and prostate gland are probably the most common, but in many men the cause lies outside of the urinary tract. For example, severe constipation and certain medications can reduce bladder control. In some men, more than one problem is present.

It's also important to realize that some causes of incontinence are quite simple, while others are very serious. In the same way, some causes of incontinence may be easy to treat, while others may be long-lasting.

Men who experience new loss of urine control should see their doctor. This guide is intended to provide helpful information while you are awaiting further evaluation, or to add to what you may have already learned after an evaluation by your doctor. Please keep in mind that this information cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with your own health care provider.

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It's important to know if you've had recent surgery, since men can lose bladder control if the bladder, prostate or other part of the urinary tract is damaged during a medical procedure. Radiation therapy can have the same effect.

Have you had recent surgery or a medical procedure that involves the urinary tract? Examples include

  • prostate surgery such as radical prostatectomy or transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP, "roto-rooter" for enlarged prostate)

  • bladder catheterization

  • cystoscopy

  • radiation treatment or radioactive seeds (for prostate cancer).

Yes, I've had recent surgery or another procedure.

Nope, I've had no recent surgery.

Symptoms such as burning, pain, frequency or blood in the urine can indicate a serious problem such as a urinary tract infection, kidney stone or tumor.

Have you experienced one or more of the following symptoms?

  • burning during urination

  • pain during or after urination

  • blood in your urine

  • a need to urinate frequently.

Yes, I've had one or more of these symptoms.

No, fortunately, I've had none of those.

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