Male Stress Incontinence
Male stress incontinence can develop too. The reason why stress incontinence occurs is that your bladder and urethra are not able to fulfil their function properly and hold urine, particularly when under pressure, such as when you cough or sneeze.
This can happen if:
- Your pelvic floor muscles are weak or damaged.
- Your urethral sphincter (the ring of muscle that keeps the urethra closed) is damaged.
The most common reason for men having weakness in the pelvic floor muscles or sphincter is due to treatment for prostate cancer. Surgery and radiotherapy can weaken pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter.
Urinary incontinence after prostate cancer treatment can be short term and as the bladder recovers, continence will return. Our prostate cancer results centre tracks the recovery of continence after a prostatectomy and shows over 90 per cent of patients are fully continent again at 12 months after surgery.
However, for those with long term continence problems, there are effective solutions which should be considered. The first step should always be physiotherapy and behavioural approaches for stress incontinence before surgery is considered. However, if first line treatment approaches are not successful, there are two surgical options which we consider in more detail: the male sling and the artificial urinary sphincter.