For the men who have experienced a spinal cord injury, managing urinary incontinence can be an incredibly difficult and challenging task. Not only can it cause physical discomfort (it hurts), but it can also have a significant impact on your emotional and mental well-being. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. With the right info, resources, and support, you can find ways to better manage urinary incontinence and live a more comfortable and fulfilling life. In this article, we’ll discuss the male causes and symptoms of urinary incontinence, and provide helpful tips and resources to help you manage this condition and improve your quality of life.
Causes of urinary incontinence after spinal cord injury
There are many potential causes of male urinary incontinence after a spinal cord injury, including damage to the urinary tract, damage to the sphincter muscles that control urination, and changes in the nervous system. The location and severity of the injury will determine the type and degree of urinary incontinence issues you may experience. Urinary tract damage is one of the most common causes of urinary incontinence after a spinal cord injury, particularly in men with SCI above T6 (injury level above T6). Damage to the urinary tract can lead to excessive bladder pressure, urine infections, bladder stones, and kidney damage. Another common cause after SCI is bladder spasms, also known as spastic bladder. For those with SCI above T6, this is the most common form of urinary incontinence. A spastic bladder is an involuntary contraction of the bladder wall that causes the bladder to suddenly empty. This results in urinary incontinence due to a lack of control over bladder function. Changes to the nervous system after a spinal cord injury can also lead to urinary incontinence. In particular, the autonomic system may be affected, which controls the release of urine. Other changes to the nervous system that can lead to urinary incontinence include damage to the sensory system, which plays a role in awareness of bladder pressure; and damage to the descending pathways, which help relay signals between the brain and bladder.
Symptoms and conditions
The specific symptoms in men will vary depending on the cause of the condition. However, common symptoms include frequent urination, difficulty urinating, urine leakage, and/or pain during urination. Urinary incontinence can vary from mild to severe. In some cases, it can be managed with lifestyle changes, while in others it may require medical intervention. If you experience any of the above symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor to determine the cause of the incontinence and discuss treatment, products and options. Depending on the cause of the incontinence, you may require medication, surgery, or a combination of both. Urinary tract infections are a common side effect of urinary incontinence, particularly after SCI above T6, and can lead to other complications so do be careful.
Tips for managing urinary incontinence
Managing urinary incontinence can be challenging and tough for anyone, but there are several things you can do to improve your odds of success. As with any health condition, the best way to manage male urinary incontinence is to address the root cause of the issue as soon as possible. This is particularly important when dealing with urinary incontinence caused by damage to the urinary tract or bladder spasms. If you’re able to repair the damage or address the underlying cause of the spasms, chances of long-term success are significantly higher. If you have an SCI above T6, you may need to consider wearing an SCI-appropriate protective pad 24/7, regardless of whether or not you experience urinary incontinence. Protective pads are products designed to collect urine and prevent it from leaking onto your clothing and bedding. Wearing protective pads isn’t always easy and can be a pain, but in many cases, they’re necessary to avoid urinary incontinence, skin breakdown, and other problems.
Resources to help
There are many resources available to help men manage urinary incontinence after a spinal cord injury. If you experience mild-to-moderate incontinence, you may be able to manage it with lifestyle changes and/or over-the-counter incontinence products. However, if your incontinence is more severe, you may need to see a doctor or specialist. Here are a few resources you may find helpful: If you experience urinary incontinence, it's important to see your doctor. A doctor can determine the type and severity of your incontinence, recommend treatment options, and help you manage any other coexisting conditions that may be contributing to the incontinence. A doctor can also help you access government benefits if you qualify for them. A physiotherapist can help you identify the cause of your urinary incontinence and recommend treatment options. They can also provide support and guidance as you transition to wearing SCI-appropriate protective pads. If you have an SCI above T6, you may qualify for specialized services provided by SCI specialists. These are a group of healthcare professionals with expertise in managing the unique challenges associated with SCI.
Male urinary incontinence can be challenging to manage, but with the right information, resources, and support, you can find ways to better manage this condition with products and routines to improve your quality of life. The type and severity of urinary incontinence will determine the best course of action, but in general, the key is to address the cause of the incontinence as soon as possible. This can be achieved through lifestyle changes, medication, surgery, or a combination of these.
Legal Disclaimer - Any products or routines are intended for use in managing incontinence. They are not intended to be used as a sole treatment for incontinence. Consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of incontinence. The effectiveness of products and routines may vary for different individuals. Use of these products and routines is at the discretion of the user and the user assumes all risks associated with their use. These products and routines are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. These products and routines are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about using these products and routines, please consult with a healthcare professional.