Male Incontinence Causes

How the Urinary System Works

The kidneys filter unneeded substances from the bloodstream and send them to the bladder, a muscular bag that can stretch to hold up to 500ml when full. At half-full, nerves tell the brain that it's time to urinate and send urine down the urethra, which is kept closed by two sphincter muscles. The inner sphincter will open when the bladder is full but the outer sphincter muscle can be voluntarily held shut to maintain control over urination. The pelvic floor muscles lie beneath the bladder and around the urethra to keep them working correctly. However, for some people there's an interruption to this chain of events, causing a leakage known as incontinence.

There is no single standout among male incontinence causes, but common factors include:

  • A swollen prostate impeding the passage of urine can often lead to urge urinary incontinence, or 'the sudden need to go'
  • Prostate surgery can cause the muscles to become temporarily weakened or damaged leading to stress urinary incontinence – involuntary leaks when you laugh, cough or undertake certain physical activities.
  • Urinary tract infections can cause an overactive bladder.
  • Nerve damage, brain injury or medication can sometimes block signals sent to the brain to urinate.
  • Being overweight can put extra pressure on abdominal and pelvic muscles, both a female and male incontinence cause.
  • Diuretic medications for circulatory illness can also increase the risk of incontinence.
  • Diabetes can lead to slight urine leakage

There are several types of incontinence. Click here to find out more.