Over Active Bladder (OAB) Urge Incontinence in men
In a day and age where sex drugs and rock and roll are spoken openly about, the incontinence issues is still very much and embarrassment to many and kept a secret from partners, family and their doctor.
It is acceptable in society that for one reason or another that women are prone to incontinence. But what about men? Very little is spoken about what men go through and how they feel. In all cases the quality of life (QOL) is affected.
SUI, or Stress Urinary Incontinence is more prevalent in women than men due to their short urethra. (the tube which allows urine to flow from the bladder out of the body.
Over Active Bladder, is common in men, women and children. One of the worst things a parent can do is to force the child to go to the toilet when they really don’t need to. How many of you are guilty of saying to your child. ‘go now just in case, honey’?
This force and destabilization of the bladder eventually may affect the whole natural process and contraction of the detrusor muscle which lines the inside of the bladder. This precontraction then builds up and before you know it, you or your child has OAB. (That’s not to say this is the cause in every case. OAB can occur under other medical conditions and for other reasons).
But if we go back to focusing on the male incontinence issues:
It is common in some men who have a prostate enlargement or BPH. Men who are recovering from prostate surgery or if they have had a laser prostate ablation are prone to OAB.
Other conditions which may trigger OAB are previous bladder or prostate complications, being exposed to radiation, brain or spinal injury, strokes etc. Parkinson’s is extremely common. Many diabetics present with OAB and SUI.
Before you seek professional advice, download the OAB questionnaire from www.incostress.com No personal information is asked, this is so you can fill the questionnaire in, print and show your doctor. It’s an excellent way for you to explain your symptoms and for your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you. Incostress.com is all about eduction and helping the public find solutions.
The good news is, incontinence is reversible. There are several methods of treatment and finding the right one for you will be determined by your doctor.
If your doctor choses the most common solution drugs, don’t be afraid to ask him:
- What are the side effects?
- Will this drug interfere and cause other problems with medication I am currently taking?
- How long will I be on this medication for?
- What happens if I forget to take it?
- Are there any natural remedies available?
- If I have a side affect such as dry mouth, dry eyes (a very common one with anticholinergic medication ) I would naturally drink more, so would this have an effect on me?
What are anticholinergics ?
Anticholinergics are a group of drugs which are aimed at combating OAB by blocking the nerve signals related to bladder muscle contractions. They are meant to help increase bladder capacity and decrease the ‘urge’ to go due to the effect they have on the detrusor muscle.
What are the natural solutions for male OAB?
Bladder training without medication is one solution for the treatment of OAB. The treatment involves scheduled voiding (scheduled training bladder sheets can be downloaded free of charge here. Bladder training helps change the way routinely head for the toilet. Bladder training will put you into a pattern of holding back from accessing the toilet at set times of the day. It will teach you to have control over the urge to go by waiting. This buildup is a slow process from waiting for a few minutes to gradually increasing to an hour or more between toilet visits.
Pelvic Floor or kegel exercises
Pelvic floor control is and excellent method to strengthen the muscles that control urination. Part of this exercise will teach you to tighten, hold, and then relax the muscles that you use to start and stop the flow of urination. This form of training control is called biofeedback, which allows you to identify and move by squeezing the right muscles. Free download for kegel exercises here
Its important not to over work the muscles and if possible I would suggest you work with a physiotherapist or pelvic floor expert.
Electrical stimulation have also been proven to work, but it is strongly recommended you seek professional advice first.
One excellent program I have personally found helps is the Pfilates program developed by Dr Bruce Crawford. More information here.
Many men are subjected to wearing diapers or male incontinence nappies/incontinence pads. These can be undignified, uncomfortable and can cause skin irritation. Nobody wants to sit in urine do they?
An alternative to adult diapers is the Urox System.Hygienic, washable long-lasting and no more sitting in your own urine.
If you have found the information on this site helpful, let me know. It’s always good to get feedback.