Urinary Incontinence (Male)

Urinary incontinence means not being able to control the release of urine from the bladder.


Common causes of urinary incontinence in men include:

  • Infection

  • Certain medicines

  • Aging

  • Poor pelvic muscle tone

  • Bladder spasms

  • Obesity

  • Urinary retention

Nervous system diseases, diabetes, sleep apnea, urinary tract infections, prostate surgery, and pelvic trauma can also cause incontinence. Constipation and smoking have also been identified as risk factors.


  • Urge incontinence (also called “overactive bladder”) is a sudden urge to urinate even though there may not be much urine in the bladder. The need to urinate often during the night is common. It is due to bladder spasms.

  • Stress incontinence is involuntary urine leakage that can occur with sneezing, coughing, and other actions that put stress on the bladder.


Treatment of urinary incontinence depends on the cause. Infections of the bladder are treated with antibiotics. Urinary retention is treated with a bladder catheter.

Home care

Follow these guidelines when caring for yourself at home:

  • Avoid foods and drinks that may irritate the bladder. These include drinks containing alcohol, caffeinate, or carbonation; chocolate; and acidic fruits and juices).

  • Limit fluid intake to 6 to 8 cups a day.

  • Lose weight if you are overweight. This will reduce your symptoms.

  • If needed, wear absorbent pads to catch urine. Change pads frequently to maintain hygiene and prevent skin and bladder infections.

  • Bathe daily to maintain good hygiene.

  • If an antibiotic was prescribed to treat a bladder infection, be sure to take it until finished, even if you are feeling better before then. This is to make sure your infection has cleared.

  • If a catheter was left in place, it is important to keep bacteria from getting into the collection bag. Do not disconnect the catheter from the collection bag.

  • Use a leg band to secure the catheter drainage tube, so it does not pull on the catheter. Drain the collection bag when it becomes full using the drain spout at the bottom of the bag. Do not disconnect the bag from the catheter.

  • Do not pull on or try to remove a catheter. The catheter must be removed by a healthcare provider.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever over 100.4ºF (38°C), or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Bladder pain or fullness

  • Abdominal swelling, nausea, or vomiting

  • Back pain

  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

  • If a catheter was left in place, return if:

    • Catheter falls out

    • Catheter stops draining for 6 hours

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