Urinary incontinence is one of those topics that men are often reluctant to discuss, even with their doctors. Most men would like to pretend that the problem could never happen to them, or could never happen until they are old and infirm. But the truth is that even younger men can experience anything from an occasional dribble to ongoing leakage. While practicing proper care is an excellent way to maintain penis health, stopping the leak depends on knowing more about the penis and why incontinence can occur.
What is urinary incontinence?
Urinary incontinence is the involuntary release of urine. It can happen rarely, or it can be a chronic condition, and the causes can vary. While urinary incontinence is associated mainly with young boys and older men, it can occur at any age. The National Association on Continence estimates that up to 15% of men between the ages of 15 and 64 are affected by incontinence.
There are three main types of incontinence:
- Stress. The most common form of incontinence, this comes about when urine leaks while performing any activity (voluntary or involuntary) that puts pressure on the bladder. Examples include urinary leakage when coughing or picking up a heavy object.
- Urge. With urge incontinence, a man knows he needs to urinate but doesn’t realize it soon enough to make it to the bathroom. It’s often associated with certain diseases and conditions, such as diabetes.
- Overflow. Here the amount of urine is greater than the capacity of the bladder. College students who spend too much time at a kegger may experience this form of incontinence.
Some people also list a fourth type, functional incontinence, which basically means a man knows he wants to urinate but faces physical obstacles that prevent him from reaching the bathroom in time.
There are several causes of urinary incontinence, including:
- Nerve damage. Diabetes, stroke and Parkinson’s diseases are among conditions that can cause significant damage to the nerve-muscle communications system. Much less serious nerve damage may result in some simple occasional miscommunications that allow for leakage at inopportune times.
- Weak muscles. Sometimes the Kegel muscles that help control urinary flow aren’t strong enough to function properly.
- Prostate issues. Men with prostate problems often have urinary incontinence as a complication.
- Urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection can cause temporary issues in controlling urine release.
- Alcohol. Imbibing too much is one of the more common causes of occasional incontinence, especially among younger men.
- Stress and tension. Sometimes, being all worked up about difficult issues in a man’s life can bring about a bout of urine leakage.
Maintaining good overall health is a great first step in preventing incontinence. Keeping an eye out for “triggers” that make a man need to urinate (such as caffeine or alcohol) is also helpful.
Engaging in regular Kegel exercises is a good idea for overall penis care, not just in terms of urinary distress. Squeezing the Kegel muscles – the ones that control the release of urine – and relaxing them is all that is required. It’s best to squeeze, hold for 3-5 seconds, and release. Doing 3 sets (or more) of 5-10 squeezes-and-releases every day is recommended.
In addition to these exercises, men can work to prevent issues like urinary tract infections, which are also common triggers of incontinence, by maintaining good hygiene and regular penis care. Showering on a daily basis, as well as after any intimate contact, is recommended. In addition, emptying the bladder after unprotected sex can help to flush away organisms that may have made their way into the urinary tract.
Using a first rate penis vitamin cream (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can also help to improve the overall condition of the penis, including its ability to fight off diseases. Some creams may also provide a further benefit if they include an ingredient known as acetyl L carnitine; this substance is neuroprotective and can often help penises that have suffered some peripheral nerve damage. It also doesn’t hurt to use a cream with a powerful antioxidant like alpha lipoic acid, which can help avoid premature aging of penile cells, as well as a “wrinkly” penis look.