Conference Addresses Men's Bladder Health

Published Online: Friday, October 1, 2004

"Men's Bladder Health: Where Issues Differ Between Genders" was the topic of an educational session at the recent first National Conference on Men's Health.

Nancy Muller, executive director of the National Association For Continence, who made the presentation, said that men are more likely to suffer from overflow incontinence and stress urinary incontinence after prostate surgery. Overflow incontinence is defined as leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladder's holding capacity. Stress incontinence occurs when sphincter or pelvic muscles have been damaged, causing the bladder to leak during exercise, coughing, or any body movement that puts pressure on the bladder. Men also have problems with "after-dribble," caused by a pool of urine forming in the urethra as a result of a weak sphincter muscle.

Muller talked about the quality-of-life issues impacted by urinary incontinence, such as embarrassment, toilet mapping, and isolation. Whereas women tend to take on the role of family health educators, men tend to be more motivated to resolve incontinence, Muller said. The presentation concluded with information about future treatments, including less invasive surgery and procedures and medications with fewer side effects.

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