Recent Blog Articles
Prediabetes diagnosis as an older adult: What does it really mean?
Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy
Does exercise help protect against severe COVID-19?
A new Alzheimer’s drug has been approved. But should you take it?
Need physical therapy? 3 key questions your PT will ask
COVID-19 vaccines: Safe and effective for American Indian and Alaskan Native communities
Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19?
Period equity: What is it, why does it matter?
Common questions about medical cannabis
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.
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)
radiation treatment or radioactive seeds (for prostate cancer).
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.