The unintentional loss of urine is how we define urinary incontinence in males. Urinary incontinence in men is divided into three primary types.
Stress urinary incontinence: the involuntary loss of urine when laughing, coughing, or sneezing. This is associated with the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and typically occurs most often after prostate cancer surgery.
Urge incontinence: This type of leakage occurs in males with overactive bladders, often because of an enlarged prostate. This could involve:
- A sudden, urgent need to urinate
- The need to urinate frequently, often at night
- Sudden leakage of a large amount of urine
Overflow incontinence: Overflow incontinence occurs when a man has excess urinary retention. In this condition the bladder is unable to empty, and so it overflows, not unline a bathtub that has become full and continues to fill with water.
- A urine stream that starts and stops during urination
- A weak urine stream
- Leakage of a small amount of urine
- An urgent need to urinate, often at night
- A need to strain while urinating and a sense that the bladder is not empty
- Leaking urine while asleep
It is possible for one man to have different types of urinary incontinence, including stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, and urge incontinence. Some men may have one, two, or all three of these types of incontinence.