Overactive Bladder In Men
Overactive bladder can be described as frequent urination, a constant urge to urinate, bladder leaks, and nighttime urination. Nearly 33 million Americans live with overactive bladder and 30 percent of the patients are men.
Symptoms of overactive bladder in men include an urgent need to urinate, frequent urination , nighttime urination, and a strong urge to urinate, which can lead to bladder leaks.
For men, overactive bladder is often triggered by an enlarged prostate. As men age, the prostate can become larger, blocking the flow of urine, and lead to other symptoms related to overactive bladder.
Prostate enlargement isnt the only cause of overactive bladder in men. Other causes include a bladder infection, bladder stones, or bladder cancer. Fluid intake, medications, and constipation can all be temporary causes for overactive bladder in men as well.
What Are Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises, also called Kegels or pelvic floor muscle training, are exercises for your pelvic floor muscles to help prevent or reduce stress urinary incontinence. Your pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum.
Four in 10 women improved their symptoms after trying Kegels.9 Kegels can be done daily and may be especially helpful during pregnancy. They can help prevent the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth. Your pelvic floor muscles may also weaken with age and less physical activity.
Some women have urinary symptoms because the pelvic floor muscles are always tightened. In this situation, Kegel exercises will not help your urinary symptoms and may cause more problems. Talk to your doctor or nurse about your urinary symptoms before doing Kegel exercises.
What Do We Mean By Small Bladder
Firstly, lets clear up the confusion between having a small bladder and an overactive bladder. Anatomically, its highly unlikely anyone has a small bladder. Our internal organs dont tend to differ from one person to the next.
However, it is possible to have a functionally small bladder, which means your bladder, for any number of reasons, cant hold a lot of urine. Bladder muscles and/or the bladder sphincter muscles become overactive and as a result there is a constant need to void.
Thats why when some people say they have a small bladder, what theyre really suggesting is they have an overactive bladder.
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Treatments For Male Urinary Incontinence
There are a number of treatment approaches for urinary incontinence to improve bladder control for men, depending on how severe it is and its underlying cause. A combination of treatments might be necessary. There are several categories of medications to treat overactive bladder and relax the bladder muscles and medications for men with incontinence caused by an enlarged prostate. Neuromodulation techniques include percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation, Botox injections in the bladder, and Interstim implantation. When indicated, surgical procedures are available to help alleviate incontinence issues.
Alternative And Complementary Therapies
The treatment of urinary incontinence varies depending on the cause of the bladder control problem. In most cases, a physician will try the simplest treatment approach before resorting to medication or surgery.
Bladder habit training This is the first approach for treating most incontinence issues. The goal is to establish a regular urination schedule with set intervals between urination. A doctor will usually recommend urinating at one-hour intervals and gradually increasing the intervals between urination over time.
Pelvic muscle exercises Also called Kegel exercises , this exercise routine helps strengthen weak pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
The person contracts the muscles used to keep in urine, holds the contraction for 4 to 10 seconds, then relaxes the muscles for the same amount of time.
It may take weeks or months of regular pelvic exercise to show improvement.
Another way to perform Kegel exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine for several seconds while urinating.
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Weak Flow And Difficulty Urinating
Most flow problems are caused by an enlargement in the prostate gland. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland near the urethra the tube that carries urine from your bladder. When the gland swells, it presses down on the urethra, which constricts the flow of urine, causing slower urine flow and difficulty starting urination.
Several things can cause prostate swelling including:
- normal aging
- infection, and
Other causes of urinary difficulty include certain medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, and bladder stones.
If you start having trouble urinating, or notice changes in your urine flow, contact your doctor immediately to rule out the possibility of a serious disease.
Signs Of A Bladder Problem
Everyones bladder behaves a little bit differently. But certain signs may mean a bladder problem. If you have signs of a bladder problem, talk with your healthcare provider.
Signs of a bladder problem can include:
- Inability to hold urine or leaking urine
- Needing to urinate eight or more times in one day
- Waking up many times at night to urinate
- Sudden and urgent need to urinate
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Passing only small amounts of urine after strong urges to urinate
- Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating
- Trouble emptying the bladder
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Bladder Health For Older Adults
Everyone uses their bladder many times each day, but they may not know what to do to keep their bladder healthy.
Located in the lower abdomen, the bladder is a hollow organ, much like a balloon, that stores urine. It is part of the urinary system, which also includes the kidneys, ureters, and urethra. Urine contains wastes and extra fluid left over after the body takes what it needs from what we eat and drink.
As you get older, the bladder changes. The elastic bladder tissue may toughen and become less stretchy. A less stretchy bladder cannot hold as much urine as before and might make you go to the bathroom more often. The bladder wall and pelvic floor muscles may weaken, making it harder to empty the bladder fully and causing urine to leak.
What Causes Male Bladder Infection
Bladder infection is normally caused by bacteria which multiply in the urethra and travel into the bladder. These bacteria include Staphylococcus, Escherichia Coli, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas. If left unchecked, the infection can grow further and reach the kidneys and ultimately, get into the bloodstream.
Although rare, bladder infection in males can sometimes be caused by fungi or other parasites.
Predisposing Factors for Bladder Infection in Men
While bladder infections and UTIs in general are not very common in men, some factors can increase the risk. These include:
- Circumcision Circumcised men are less likely to develop a bladder infection than their uncircumcised counterparts.
- Age Due to enlargement of the prostate gland, men who are 50 years and above are more likely to contract bladder infection.
- Pre-existing conditions Conditions such as kidney stones can cause blockages that would increase the risk of an infection.
- Anal sex Anal sex increases the risk of getting sexually-transmitted UTIs.
- Disruption in the normal flow of urine caused by a catheter When the flow of urine is disrupted, it is difficult to wash away the microbes.
- A weak immune system caused by conditions like HIV or diabetes
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How Can Prostate Problems Affect The Bladder
A man with a prostate problem may have any one, or a combination of these symptoms:
- difficulty starting the flow of urine
- slow urine stream once urination has started
- the need to urinate more often than usual during the day
- having to wake during the night to urinate multiple times
- dribbling either after urinating, or between visits to the toilet
- feeling the urgent need to urinate
- sensation that emptying is not complete.
- having to urinate again within a short time of having just urinated.
Get the following symptoms checked out straightaway:
These could be due to infection or other cause needing treatment.
Male Bladder Infection: Symptom Cause And Treatment
A bladder infection is a urinary tract infection caused by bacteria. This type of infection, like many UTIs, is more common in women than men due to the anatomical differences of their urinary tracts. The shorter urethra in women increases the risk of bacteria traveling up to the bladder. But, although women are more likely to get UTIs, bladder infection in males is not uncommon. And while the symptoms of urinary tract infections are similar in both men and women, some symptoms are unique to men.
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What Can Affect Bladder Health
Many things can affect bladder health. You cant control everything that affects bladder health, but there are many bladder health behaviors that you can control. Here are some things that may affect your bladder health.
Some activities can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, including:
- Having sex. Sexual activity can move bacteria from the bowel or vaginal cavity to the urethral opening. Urinating after sex lowers the risk of infection.
- Using a catheter to urinate. A catheter is a tube placed in the urethra and bladder to help empty the bladder. The catheter can make a direct path for bacteria to reach the bladder.
- Using certain types of birth control. Diaphragms can bring bacteria with them when they are placed. Spermicides may also make UTIs more likely.
The Link Between Weak Bladder And Oab
When the smooth muscle within the bladder becomes overactive, it can lead to improper contraction and relaxation of the muscle. Problems in the nerves that stimulate the bladder, as well as some neurological conditions, may lead to OAB.
According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States have OAB symptoms.
The muscles in the lower abdomen that support the bladder and urethra are known as the pelvic muscles. For women, these muscles often stretch and weaken during pregnancy and childbirth, which can cause organs in the abdomen to shift.
A lack of muscle support around the bladder can cause sagging, which can lead to leakage. This can lead to stress incontinence, which often results from a mix of OAB and urge incontinence.
If a person is experiencing frequent urination or having urine leakage after a sudden urge to urinate, it may be time to talk with a doctor about treatment options to help with OAB.
However, there are also several lifestyle changes that a person can make to help to calm the bladder muscle, which may help improve OAB symptoms. Read on to learn more.
The sections below provide suggestions for ways to help manage a weak bladder, which may also improve OAB symptoms.
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How You Can Manage Symptoms
Some guys have success by spacing out their fluid intake during the day and cutting back on liquids a few hours before bed. If that helps, stick with it. But don’t restrict yourself too much — you could become dehydrated. Not drinking enough fluids can lead to complications such as bladder infections, which can make urinary incontinence worse.
Treat Bladder Weakness Painlessly And Quickly With Innovo
INNOVO is a clinically proven, truly non-invasive and long-lasting solution to bladder weakness and urinary incontinence. Easy to use and comfortable to wear, INNOVO helps you safely and effortlessly strengthen and re-educate the entire network of pelvic floor muscles through gentle muscle stimulation.
Using INNOVO for just 30 minutes a day/five days a week over 12 weeks has been proven to treat bladder weakness delivering results in as little as four weeks2.
INNOVO treats stress, urge, and mixed incontinence in both women and men of all ages, and is the only non-invasive pelvic floor exerciser that targets the root cause of bladder weakness. Use INNOVO’s Stress Incontinence programme which will focus on delivering muscle strengthening stimulations to the entire network of pelvic floor muscles.
A clinical study found that:
- 80% of users saw a significant reduction in leaks after just 4 weeks1
- 87% of users were defined as either dry or almost dry after 12 weeks2
- 90% of users would recommend the therapy to others3
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Infection In Men
While different individuals will not have the same signs, the following are the most common symptoms of bladder infection:
A sudden and frequent urge to urinate
Peeing little amounts of urine
Lower back pain or cramping in the lower abdomen
Burning sensation when urinating
Frequent urination during the night
Foul-smelling urine that may appear cloudy
Blood in the urine this is a sign that your bladder walls are inflamed, in which case you should seek medical assistance urgently.
The following UTI symptoms are specific to men:
Discharge from the penis
It is important to note that bladder infection in males is more likely to recur after the initial infection because bacteria may hide and multiply within the prostate gland.
Section : Research Needs And Future Directions
Figure 4: OAB Patient Groups
Epidemiology. Studies assessing how OAB develops and its natural history and progression are required. The timing and circumstances around which OAB develops and associated risk factors are not yet well-understood. While not specifically targeting epidemiology of OAB, there are large community-based studies that assess prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms and urinary incontinence.280, 281 By longitudinally studying these community cohorts, these investigators have developed a new hypothesis that lower urinary tract symptoms are likely related to other systemic diseases/conditions.282, 283 Continuation of these types of studies could lead to potential preventive interventions for OAB symptoms and/or utilization of treatments that target the associated systemic conditions rather than the bladder. Epidemiologic studies provide a better cross sectional estimation of the overall population impact of OAB-type symptoms.284
Clinical studies should use validated standardized measures to report subjective outcomes. Objective outcomes should include frequency, nocturia, urgency, incontinence episode frequency and reporting of the variance for each of these measures. Furthermore, the Guideline Panel’s meta-analytic efforts were hampered by lack of consistent reporting of variance information for baseline and post-treatment measurements.
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When To See A Health Care Providerand What To Expect
If you have any of the signs of a bladder problem or urinary tract infection, talk to your healthcare provider. Read advice on talking to your doctor about sensitive subjects, like bladder problems.
When you see your healthcare provider, he or she may perform the following tests to try to figure out what might be causing your bladder problem:
- Give you a physical exam to look for any health issues that may cause a bladder problem. For women, the physical exam may include a pelvic exam. For men, the physical exam may include a prostate exam, which is usually done with a rectal exam.
- Take a urine sample to check for a bladder infection.
- Examine the inside of your bladder using a cystoscope, a long, thin tube that slides up into the bladder through the urethra. This is usually done by a urinary specialist.
- Fill the bladder with warm fluid to check how much fluid your bladder can hold before leaking.
- Check a bladder scan using ultrasound to see if you are fully emptying your bladder with each void.
Common Causes For Women
The likelihood of developing a weak stream or urinary hesitancy is lower in women than men. Usually, women develop a weak stream during pregnancy and immediately after birth.
Women are more prone to develop a weak stream or urinary hesitancy after childbirth when they also experience the following:
- Use of forceps or vacuum during childbirth
- Baby weighing over 4000 grams
Urinary hesitancy among women is quite common after childbirth because of the trauma to the nerves that surround the urinary tract and the bladder.
Proper postpartum bladder care, such as voiding the bladder at least once every 6 hours can help prevent and relieve a weak stream or urinary hesitancy after childbirth.
Urinary tract infections are another common cause of urinary hesitancy in women.
Complications of a weak stream or urinary hesitancy
Even when there is a non-severe case of urinary hesitancy, ignoring your symptoms of weak urine flow or trouble starting urination may cause the condition to get worse. Eventually, the condition may lead to urinary retention, which is when a person cannot empty his bladder completely.
A complete or sudden inability to urinate is a serious condition that requires urgent medical attention. It may lead to serious health problems when not treated on time.
A person experiencing urinary hesitation must look for any signs of infection, such as pain or fever.
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What Causes Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder can be caused by several things, or even a combination of causes. Some possible causes can include:
- Weak pelvic muscles: Pregnancy and childbirth can cause your pelvic muscles to stretch and weaken. This can cause the bladder to sag out of its normal position. All of these factors can cause leakage.
- Nerve damage: Sometimes signals are sent to the brain and bladder to empty at the wrong time. Trauma and diseases can cause this to happen. These can include:
- Pelvic or back surgery.
Often, there may be no specific explanation for why this is occurring.