What Can Cause Incontinence in Men? Why It Happens, What You Can Do About It, and When to Call Your Doctor

Jessica Lubahn 9 min read

What Can Cause Incontinence in Men? Why It Happens, What You Can Do About It, and When to Call Your Doctor

Do you or a loved one suffer from urinary incontinence? If so, you know this is often an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem.

Do you wish: 

  • There was a way to stay dry and have peace of mind?
  • You knew what to do to help at home? 
  • You knew what causes incontinence in adults? 

In this article, you’ll learn: 

  • The different types of incontinence
  • When you should see a doctor; and
  • Things you can do at home to help with urinary incontinence

Table of Contents

What Can Cause Male Incontinence? 3 Types of Urinary Incontinence in Men

Most urinary incontinence in men is related to the prostate gland. Male incontinence may be caused by:

  • Prostatitis which is a painful inflammation of the prostate gland
  • An injury to nerves or muscles during surgery; and
  • An enlarged prostate gland 

There are a few different types of urinary incontinence which are common in men. 

To determine the type you are suffering from, it’s important to share your symptoms with your doctor to determine the exact type of incontinence you are suffering from. 

Let’s take a closer look at three types of urinary incontinence in men. 


male incontinence cause

#1: Overflow Incontinence

If you find yourself …

… you may be experiencing symptoms of overflow incontinence. 

Overflow incontinence occurs when you are not able to fully empty your bladder when you use the restroom. 

As a man ages, their prostate becomes larger, which constricts the muscles used to urinate. However, incontinence is not always because of aging; there are other causes to consider. 

When one urinates, it is as if the urine is moving through a drinking straw. Once the muscles constrict, it’s as if the urine is moving through a coffee stirrer. As this happens, it becomes difficult for all of the urine to move through the prostate. 

A few symptoms of overflow incontinence include: 

  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • Having trouble completely emptying the bladder; and
  • Feeling the urge to urinate frequently because the bladder is full

Causes of Overflow Incontinence in Men

Overflow incontinence can be caused by: 

  • Damaged nerve endings caused by conditions like diabetes and multiple sclerosis
  • Strictures caused by scar tissue or tumors
  • Blockages in the urinary tract
  • Certain medications
  • Previous pelvic surgery

Because of these causes, the muscles controlling the bladder become weak. 

Once the bladder is weak, it can lead to chronic urinary retention.

#2: Urge Incontinence

If you …

  • Sometimes leak urine in public or while sleeping
  • Often have a sudden need to urinate; or
  • Often involuntarily leak urine

… you could have urge incontinence. 

With urge incontinence, the bladder muscles contract at the wrong times; it gives the feeling that you have to pass urine. 

Urge incontinence is not a disease, but it might be a sign that there is an underlying problem. 

Causes of Urge Incontinence in Men

Urge incontinence can be caused by: 

  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder infection
  • Brain or nerve problems, such as secondary from a stroke
  • An enlarged prostate blocking urine from leaving the bladder

Urge incontinence can occur in anyone at any age, but it is more common in older adults.  

#3: Stress Incontinence

If you leak urine during activities that put pressure on the abdomen, such as …

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Bending over
  • Having sex
  • Lifting something heavy
  • Laughing; and
  • Exercises

  … you could be suffering from stress incontinence. 

Although you may not experience urinary incontinence every time you do one of these things, any activity that increases pressure on your bladder increases your risk of unintentional urination, particularly when your bladder is full. 

When the pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter are not strong enough to close the urethra, stress incontinence occurs.   

Unwanted urine flow is triggered by physical stress, such as the name implies, and not psychological stress. 


causes male incontinence

Causes of Stress Incontinence in Men

A few causes of stress incontinence in men include: 

  • Prostate enlargement
  • Prostate surgery
  • Age
  • Obesity
  • High impact activities  

Men are more likely to suffer from urge incontinence rather than stress urinary incontinence. However, for those who do have stress urinary incontinence, it is likely due to prostate cancer surgery or pelvic nerve damage.

If you suffer from any of these types of urinary incontinence, you may often feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. 

ONDRwear believes that happiness is being able to put away the worry of leaking and we are happy to offer products for men that will increase their confidence.   


What Kind of Incontinence Is Most Common in Men?

Although any of the three types of incontinence can occur in men, urge incontinence is the most common type. 

Urge incontinence is when the urge to urinate leads to sudden and involuntary urine leakage. It’s been noted that urge incontinence affects anywhere from 40 to 80% of men. 

This type of incontinence can be caused by either a minor (i.e. infection) or severe (i.e. diabetes) condition. 

Urge urinary incontinence can be treated using behavioral therapies, medications, electrical stimulation, or surgery. It is sometimes necessary to combine these methods. 

When Should You See a Doctor for Male Incontinence?

If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, it is necessary to visit a professional so you will know the type of incontinence you are suffering from.  

Do not let embarrassment stop you from seeking professional help if you suffer from urinary incontinence. It is crucial to determine the type of incontinence problem you have so that your physician can determine the right course of action.

When left untreated, urinary incontinence can lead to: 

  • Permanent damage to the bladder
  • Recurring UTIs
  • Bladder stones; and 
  • Blood in urine

Incontinence has severe physical, emotional, and overall effects on quality of life that should not be ignored. 

Incontinence can be treated surgically and nonsurgically, and treatment of incontinence can improve the quality of life overall.


what causes male incontinence

4 Things You Can Do at Home to Help With Male Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence treatments depend on the type of incontinence you have and how much it affects your life. 

Your treatment may include medicines, simple exercises, or a combination of both. A few men might need surgery to treat urinary incontinence. 

There is good news though; there are also some things you can do at home to help with urinary incontinence. In some cases, these lifestyle changes can be enough to control urinary incontinence.  

#1: Watch What You Eat (and Drink)

When suffering from urinary incontinence, it is important to be mindful of what you eat and drink. 

There are foods and drinks which can irritate the bladder and can cause more painful and exaggerated symptoms of urinary incontinence. 

Some of these foods include: 

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Sweeteners
  • Dairy products
  • Prunes
  • Raw onions

You also need to be cautious of some drinks. Try to:

  • Avoid caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee and tea.
  • Cut back on carbonated drinks like soda pop. 
  • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day as alcohol can have a negative effect on urinary incontinence.

#2: Kegels

Kegels are pelvic floor muscle exercises that can prevent or control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems.

Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the: 

  • Urethra
  • Small intestine
  • Bladder; and
  • Rectum

You can do kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, just about anytime.

To perform kegel exercises, you tighten the muscles inside the pelvis. The following two methods can be used: 

  • Imagine that you're trying to keep from passing gas.
  • Stop the flow of urine while you're urinating.

Kegel exercises should be part of your daily routine. Examples include:

  • You should do Kegel exercises every time you do a routine task, such as brushing your teeth.
  • After you urinate, do another set to get rid of the last drops of urine.
  • Before and during any activity putting pressure on your abdomen, such as laughing, sneezing, coughing, or carrying heavy objects, contract your pelvic floor muscles.

#3: Stay Regular

Constipation can cause and aggravate urinary incontinence. 

If you are suffering from urinary incontinence, it is important to include lots of fiber in your diet. 

Some great sources of fiber include: 

  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nut

To make fiber work better, it is also essential to drink pure water. Being hydrated is beneficial to your overall health and can help prevent constipation. 

#4: Supplements

You probably take a multivitamin — maybe calcium or vitamin D for your bones, but do you take anything for your urinary incontinence issues? Are you wondering if it's possible?

Some vitamins and supplements might be beneficial for those who are dealing with urinary incontinence. 

Some of these vitamins are: 

  • Vitamin D
  • Gosha-jinki-gan
  • Buchu
  • Corn silk
  • Saw palmetto
  • Magnesium
  • Ganoderma lucidum
  • Confitrol 24

There may be some benefits to trying some supplements for urinary incontinence if you suffer from an overactive bladder, enlarged prostate, or urinary incontinence. 

Before taking vitamins or supplements, it is important to consult your doctor to be sure that they will not interact with your medications or cause unwanted side effects. 

Are You a Dude Dealing With Incontinence? ONDRwear Pee-Proof Underwear Keeps You Dry and Gives You Peace of Mind

Eco-friendly and sustainable, ONDRwear is unlike single use-products such as pads or Depends. 

  • ONDRwear looks and feels normal; like underwear, that have you would wear as you work out.
  • ONDRwear has a special protective area to keep you feeling dry. 
  • ONDRwear is the only brand on the market that uses special technology to make it waterproof.
  • ONDRwear does not have an elastic or latex band.
  • ONDRwear does not cut into or irritate the skin. 

There is no other brand that addresses incontinence founded by someone with such experience as ours.

Dr. Jessica Lubahn, the founder of ONDR, is a urologist and understands the frustration and embarrassment one might feel about incontinence. She also understands how leak-proof underwear can boost confidence. 

To learn more about ONDRwear, check out our website today.



The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.