Urinary Incontinence - Causes in Men

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What was the cause of urinary incontinence in you or a male friend or relative?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:

What causes urinary incontinence (UI) in men?

For the urinary system to do its job, muscles and nerves must work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the right time.

Picture of nerves carrying signals from the brain to the bladder and sphincter
Nerves carry signals from the brain to the bladder and sphincter. Any disease, condition, or injury that damages nerves can lead to urination problems.

Nerve Problems

Any disease, condition, or injury that damages nerves can lead to urination problems. Nerve problems can occur at any age.

  • Men who have had diabetes for many years may develop nerve damage that affects their bladder control.
  • Stroke, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis all affect the brain and nervous system, so they can also cause bladder emptying problems.
  • Overactive bladder is a condition in which the bladder squeezes at the wrong time. The condition may be caused by nerve problems, or it may occur without any clear cause. A person with overactive bladder may have any two or all three of the following symptoms:
    • urinary frequency -- urination eight or more times a day or two or more times at night
    • urinary urgency -- the sudden, strong need to urinate immediately
    • urge incontinence -- urine leakage that follows a sudden, strong urge to urinate
  • Spinal cord injury may affect bladder emptying by interrupting the nerve signals required for bladder control.

Prostate Problems

The prostate is a male gland about the size and shape of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra just below the bladder, where it adds fluid to semen before ejaculation.

  • BPH: The prostate gland commonly becomes enlarged as a man ages. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. As the prostate enlarges, it may squeeze the urethra and affect the flow of the urinary stream. The lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with the development of BPH rarely occur before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and up to 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some LUTS. The symptoms vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream; urgency and leaking or dribbling; more frequent urination, especially at night; and urge incontinence. Problems with urination do not necessarily signal blockage caused by an enlarged prostate. Women don't usually have urinary hesitancy and a weak stream or dribbling.
  • Radical prostatectomy: The surgical removal of the entire prostate gland - called radical prostatectomy -- is one treatment for prostate cancer. In some cases, the surgery may lead to erection problems and UI.
  • External beam radiation: This procedure is another treatment method for prostate cancer. The treatment may result in either temporary or permanent bladder problems.
Picture of a radical prostatectomy
Radical prostatectomy

Prostate Symptom Scores

If your prostate could be involved in your incontinence, your health care provider may ask you a series of standardized questions, either the International Prostate Symptom Score or the American Urological Association (AUA) Symptom Scale. Some of the questions you will be asked for the AUA Symptom Scale will be the following:

  • Over the past month or so, how often have you had to urinate again in less than 2 hours?
  • Over the past month or so, from the time you went to bed at night until the time you got up in the morning, how many times did you typically get up to urinate?
  • Over the past month or so, how often have you had a sensation of not emptying your bladder completely after you finished urinating?
  • Over the past month or so, how often have you had a weak urinary stream?
  • Over the past month or so, how often have you had to push or strain to begin urinating?

Your answers to these questions may help identify the problem or determine which tests are needed. Your symptom score evaluation can be used as a baseline to see how effective later treatments are at relieving those symptoms.

Return to Urinary Incontinence

See what others are saying

Comment from: Codger Bear, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 02

I have found that my urinary problems diminished substantially when I eliminated soy from my diet. Along with this, I have no longer have chronic hoarseness. I doubt that eliminating soy is an answer for the majority of people, but it has made a big difference for me. Anyone deciding to try this will have to read food labels religiously, because soy ingredients are used in almost all bakery goods and in many other types of foods. In restaurants, you will find that allergen menus have very few soy-free options.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!