Men’s Incontinence Guide
What is incontinence?
Urinary Incontinence, or bladder leakage, is defined as any involuntary leakage of urine. It is a symptom or combination of symptoms related to the two functions of the lower urinary tract system: urine storage and bladder emptying.
Although it can be related to aging changes in our bodies, it is not the inevitable outcome of ageing since many of the risk factors can be controlled with lifestyle changes.
A Very Common Condition
Urinary incontinence is pretty common. In fact, 5.1 million people in the UK experience some form of bladder leakage. That’s about 4 in every 100 adults, so you’re definitely not alone.
Something else you may not know: almost half of the adults experiencing bladder leakage are under the age of 50. There is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed when educating yourself about these symptoms since there are many resources and ways to help you achieve your desired quality of life.
**KC Internal research
Managing the Condition
How to promote bladder and urinary health
Keep an eye on your diet
Since obesity is a high risk factor for men developing urine leakage, losing weight can prevent the onset or help relieve symptoms of stress and mixed incontinence. It is also important to avoid or minimise foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder. These include spicy and acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus), dairy, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, fruit juice, and coffee (including decaf).
Monitor what you drink
When you have bladder leakage you may be inclined to decrease your fluid intake. However, to keep your bladder healthy, you should stay hydrated by drinking approximately six to seven 8-oz glasses of water a day, depending on your body size.
Exercising is important in many ways including to strengthen internal abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor health is essential to prevent and reduce both urine and bowel leakage. You can do this with Kegels, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi.
Exercising and walking combined with a healthy diet will help reduce weight and other urine leakage risk factors like diabetes.
Bladder Exercises for Men
Retrain your bladder to hold more urine, for longer. This works best for people who have urge or mixed incontinence. While awake, empty your bladder at regular intervals (such as twenty to thirty minutes or as long as you can manage). Each week, gradually increase the time between using the bathroom. Continue this exercise until you reach an interval of time that works for you.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Follow these simple steps to prevent night-time accidents:
- Limit your fluids before bedtime
- Avoid bladder irritating foods like caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods, chocolate, hot spices, soda
- Try and urinate 2x before bed
- Keep the path to the bathroom clear and well lit
- Do some Kegel exercises
- Use a product specially designed for your protection need
Staying in control
Here are some simple things you can do to make sure you’re always prepared when you’re out and about:
- Carry a spare Depend® product in your bag or briefcase
- Keep plastic bags on hand for easy disposal
- Have a couple “emergency” changes in your car
- Set a schedule for regular changes
- Locate restrooms ahead of time
- Avoid caffeine or too much water
- Find the right Depend® product