Is Male Incontinence Something You Have To Live With or Can It Be Cured?
Jessica Lubahn 8 min read
You go in for a layup. It happens.
You make it to the bathroom one second too late. It happens.
Most men know leaking pee isn't just a female problem. But it's also not something guys talk about with their buddies — and many aren’t aware of their options when it comes to dealing with male urinary incontinence.
The good news is… there’s hope. Many types of male incontinence can be effectively treated.
We take a look at the various forms of male incontinence, if it can be cured, and discuss your options for managing your symptoms.
Table of Contents
- Can Male Incontinence Be Cured?
- What Can Be Done for Male Incontinence?
- Curing (or Treating) Stress Incontinence in Men
- Curing (or Treating) Urge Incontinence in Men
- Curing (or Treating) Overflow Incontinence in Men
- Are There Any Causes of Male Incontinence That Can’t Be Cured?
- How Your Doctor Will Determine Which Treatment Option(s) Are the Best Bet for Curing Your Incontinence
- A Comfortable, Discreet, and Effective Option for Male Incontinence: ONDRwear
Can Male Incontinence Be Cured?
Many types of male incontinence can be treated — and possibly even cured.
In the end, however, it all depends on the underlying cause and type of incontinence the man is experiencing.
What Can Be Done for Male Incontinence?
The strategy used to treat male incontinence is based on the underlying cause, as well as how much the control problems are affecting the individual’s normal life.
Generally, the best place to begin is by implementing non-invasive treatments. If those don’t solve the problem, advanced treatment may be necessary.
Curing (or Treating) Stress Incontinence in Men
Male stress incontinence occurs when an activity such as …
- Sneezing: or
- Lifting a heavy object
… puts pressure on the bladder and causes a man to leak urine.
With the right type of treatment, male stress incontinence can be significantly reduced or cured.
The first type of treatment to pursue for male stress incontinence includes non-invasive options, like:
- Kegel exercises and other pelvic floor muscle training can strengthen the muscles that support your urinary system. You can expect to see improvements after a few weeks of regular practice.
- Bladder training is a behavioral intervention aimed at reducing the risk of accidental leaks. It focuses on setting specific times to pee throughout the day, generally with bathroom trips that are more frequent than usual. These scheduled bathroom breaks allow you to hold only a small amount of pee in your bladder at any given moment and make controlling your urine much easier.
- Lifestyle changes, including weight control and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
If the more conservative treatment options don’t provide the desired results, advanced treatments for male stress incontinence might include:
- Condom catheters, which are also called Texas catheters. These fit over the penis and have a catheter at the tip that allows urine to drain into a bag. While condom catheters catch urine leakage, they do not prevent it.
- Male sling procedure, which places a surgical mesh sling, donor tissue, or tissue from the patient around the urethral bulb. This sling slightly compresses the urethral bulb, moves it into a new position, and makes it easier to control the flow of urine.
- Surgery to insert an artificial sphincter device into the scrotum. This balloon device keeps the urethra closed until a pump is pressed to open the device to allow pee to be released.
Curing (or Treating) Urge Incontinence in Men
Also known as overactive bladder (OAB), urge incontinence is caused by the bladder contracting when it shouldn’t. This results in the sudden and often overwhelming urge to pee. Often, a man may begin to leak urine before he can even make it to the bathroom.
Urge incontinence in men can usually be reduced through the use of at-home therapies, medication, or nerve stimulation.
Non-invasive treatments for urge incontinence in men include:
- Pelvic floor exercises such as Kegels, which can strengthen the muscles that support your urinary system. These exercises can improve the symptoms of male urge incontinence.
- Lifestyle changes like drinking the majority of your fluids in the morning and afternoon rather than the evening or at night.
If pelvic floor exercises and lifestyle changes don’t help relieve your urge incontinence, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:
- Medications to relax your bladder muscle and allow it to hold more pee. Common medications used to treat male urge incontinence include:
- Anticholinergics, such as Ditropan XL, Detrol, Enablex, Toviaz, and Vesicare.
- Alpha-blockers, including Flomax, Uroxatral, Rapaflo, and Cardura.
- Botox® injections in your bladder muscle. This outpatient procedure can help relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder and is generally prescribed only if other treatments have not been successful.
- Nerve stimulation, which uses a device that sends electrical pulses to the nerves in your bladder. These pulses are similar to a bladder pacemaker, and relax your bladder and regulate how often it squeezes. Depending on your situation, your doctor may suggest a surgical procedure to insert a sacral nerve stimulation device. Or they may recommend an in-office procedure for percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS).
- Augmentation cystoplasty surgery to expand and enlarge your bladder by using tissue taken from your intestine.
- Urinary diversion surgery which places the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys (ureters) into a urine drainage bag outside your body instead of into your bladder.
Curing (or Treating) Overflow Incontinence in Men
Male overflow incontinence is the frequent dribbling of urine that results when a too-full bladder is not able to empty all the way.
Many men suffering from overflow incontinence see improvement in their symptoms through non-invasive treatment. Only in rare instances is more advanced treatment required.
There are several non-invasive treatments that may improve male overflow incontinence, including:
- Pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, to strengthen the bladder muscles.
- Bladder training or timed voiding where you go to the bathroom at set intervals throughout the day, even if you don’t feel the need to go. This keeps your bladder from getting overly full and can greatly reduce embarrassing leaks.
- Double voiding, or trying to release more pee after you think your bladder is empty.
- Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding constipation and losing any excess weight.
Additional treatments for male overflow incontinence will be determined by the reason why your bladder is not emptying all the way and may include:
- Medication, such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, to shrink an enlarged prostate.
- Surgery to remove any blockages.
- Self-catheterization, which allows your bladder to empty by inserting a catheter into your bladder via your urethra.
- Indwelling catheterization, which places a permanent catheter into your bladder. This drains your bladder into a urine drainage bag outside your body.
- Suprapubic catheter, which is a permanent catheter. It goes through your lower abdominal wall and directly into your bladder, bypassing your urethra.
- Nerve stimulation, which strengthens your bladder muscles by sending electrical impulses to the nerves surrounding your bladder. This may include percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) or sacral nerve stimulation.
Are There Any Causes of Male Incontinence That Can’t Be Cured?
If a man suffers from incontinence due to a …
- Neurogenic bladder
- Spinal cord injury
- Stroke; or
- Bladder disruption from surgery
… it is unlikely that their incontinence can be “cured.” In these cases, incontinence may be the result of a complication or condition following a prior illness or disease.
If you’re suffering from male urinary incontinence of any type, contact your doctor for a consultation.
How Your Doctor Will Determine Which Treatment Option(s) Are the Best Bet for Curing Your Incontinence
To determine which treatment will best meet your needs, your doctor will begin with a physical exam, which may also include a pelvic or rectal prostate exam.
Additional tests for male incontinence may include:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Urodynamic testing
- Voiding cystogram; or
- Urinary pad test
In the Meantime: Managing Your Incontinence Symptoms
While you’re waiting for a diagnosis, there are things you can do on your own to help make life easier and manage symptoms of male incontinence. These include:
- Using the restroom at set times
- Avoiding caffeine
- Staying away from citrus and spicy foods that can irritate your bladder
- Stopping smoking
- Managing your stress through counseling and exercise
- Preventing constipation by eating plenty of high-fiber foods
- Managing health conditions like diabetes
- Use male incontinence products, like ONDRwear incontinence underwear
A Comfortable, Discreet, and Effective Option for Male Incontinence: ONDRwear
If you’re a man who suffers from incontinence, ONDRwear has you covered — literally.
We created incontinence underwear specifically for men. And if you’re envisioning Depends, think again.
ONDRwear’s male incontinence underwear is like your normal undies but is specially designed to keep you feeling dry and confident.
Created by a urologist, ONDR is also:
- Breathable; and
If you’re wanting an effective and discreet way to deal with male incontinence, we think ONDRwear will be just what you’re looking for.