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Incontinence care for men and women

Incontinence is the term used to describe the involuntary loss of urine or fecal matter. Millions of Americans experience incontinence at some point in their lives, and up to 85 percent of those affected are women.

Incontinence is a symptom, not a disease. There are numerous reasons for incontinence including:

  • Bladder irritation
  • Damage to nervous system
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Medications
  • Overhydration
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Weakening of the bladder muscles

At Wayne State University Physician Group, our physicians understand that incontinence can be an embarrassing problem that most people don’t want to discuss. However, if you are experiencing urinary or bowel incontinence, it’s important to make an appointment to see a WSUPG specialist.

Women and incontinence

Women are more likely to experience bladder leakage than men for several reasons, including the way women's bodies are designed. The stress of pregnancy and childbirth can affect the muscles around the bladder. Menopause and the loss of estrogen as women age also increase the risk of incontinence. The structure of the female urinary tract is not as effective as the male urinary tract at controlling urine flow. However, women, like men, may also become incontinent due to stroke, Alzheimer's disease or other health conditions.

Men and incontinence

Although male incontinence has many causes, men are much more likely than women to suffer from overflow incontinence. This is because men may have enlarged prostates that block the outflow of urine from the bladder or there could be a problem with one of the muscles of the bladder. Another possible cause is a blockage that causes urine to build up to a point that it can’t be contained by the bladder. Men can experience loss of bladder control after illnesses, surgeries or with advanced age.

Our services

We offer the following incontinence treatment options:

  • Behavioral techniques - scheduled toileting, bladder retraining, Kegel exercises
  • Pharmacological therapy - medications
  • Surgical treatment - depends on the type and cause of the incontinence

For more information about urinary bladder care at WSUPG, or to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified urologic surgeons, call 313-271-0430.