Many people think incontinence is a “female” problem, and three-fourths of those affected by this malady are women, but around 5 million men also suffer from bladder problems as well. That breaks down to between 2 and 15% of men from ages 15 to 64 are incontinent. These numbers are based on men who are not in nursing home, but still living on their own. Because it is considered a female issue, many men are uninformed about incontinence and struggle with the challenges, which are physical but can also be social and emotional. Jut recently the issue of male incontinence has gained prominence and more solutions are being created for men.
In addition to solutions such as medicine, which can reduce the pressure on the prostate and alleviate some symptoms, there are many over the counter products that are less invasive. In addition to female incontinence products many items can be found in the aisles of grocery, convenient and discount stores.
Just like women, there are many reasons for male incontinence. Some of the key factors include:
Neurological disorders and spinal injuries
• Being overweight
• Cigarette smoking and heavy drinking
• Parkinson’s disease
• Enlarged prostate
• Prostate removal due to cancer
• Coughing and sneezing
More and more products are being developed for men that suffer from incontinence, such as:
Absorbent Pads: Absorbent pads have been restructured to fit the male body. They are a simple, affordable option. They are discreet yet offer security from leaks, odor and can prevent skin irritation.
• Absorbent/Disposable Underwear: Just like women’s’ disposable underwear, these disposable garments will reduce leakage and provide a sense of security. For men, they come in a variety of styles including boxers and briefs.
• External Catheters: These are latex or silicone-like “sheaths” that go over the penis and not directly into the urethra. They and rolled similar to a condom. The urine goes into a drainage bag, which is then discarded. Most men prefer to use these at night.
• Penile Clamps: These are external compression devices that offer a small amount of pressure that fits around the penis.
The best thing to do is to try a variety of products to see which best fit your needs and lifestyle.
Any male suffering from incontinence should consult with their physician and explain their situation. In most cases the doctor will conduct a prostate test to ensure that there are no serious health issues causing the problem. Should the test show a serious problem, they will discuss the options and best treatment modalities. If your problem is just due to age or other minor situations, the physician will discuss and recommend the best products for each patient.