What is Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the accidental leakage of urine. At different ages, males and females have different risks for developing UI. In childhood, girls usually develop bladder control at an earlier age than boys, and bedwetting -- or nocturnal enuresis -- is less common in girls than in boys. However, adult women are far more likely than adult men to experience UI because of anatomical differences in the pelvic region and the changes induced by pregnancy and childbirth. Nevertheless, many men do suffer from incontinence. Its prevalence increases with age, but UI is not an inevitable part of aging.

The definition of urinary incontinence in men is the unintentional loss of urine. Weak or damaged bladder muscles, overactive bladder muscles, certain prostate conditions, and nerve damage are just some of the possible underlying causes of urinary incontinence in men.Diagnosis of urinary incontinence in men will involve a medical history and physical exam, and may include keeping a bladder diary. It may also include an ultrasound and urodynamic testing.Treatment of urinary incontinence in men may include behavioral treatments, like bladder training and Kegel exercises , medication, surgery, or a combination of these therapies.

Urinary incontinence is defined by the International Continence Society as involuntary loss of urine that is a hygienic or social problem to the individual. Some define urinary incontinence to include any involuntary loss of urine. According to the Clinical Practice Guideline issued by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, there are four different types of incontinence: stress, urge, mixed, and overflow. Some doctors also include functional incontinence as a fifth potential type. The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the specific cause of incontinence.