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Incontinence Advice

Overflow Incontinence In Men

Overflow incontinence in men, a condition caused by the bladder's inability to empty fully, can lead to unexpected leakage and dribbling. In this article, you will learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for overflow incontinence in men. With our advice, you can confidently navigate this difficult time with ease with the aid of continence products for men and live a better lifestyle. 

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What is Overflow Incontinence?

Overflow incontinence, otherwise known as chronic urinary retention, is more than a mere inconvenience; it's a signal from your body that something is amiss within the urinary tract system. When the bladder becomes too full, it can no longer hold urine, leading to leakage or dribbling known as overflow urinary incontinence. Other factors that can contribute include:

  • Elevated urine production, possibly due to diabetes, the use of diuretic medications, or other health issues.
  • Obstructions within the bladder, like bladder outlet obstructions, or in the urethra, the pathway for urine to exit the body, hindering complete bladder emptying.

  • Diminished strength in the bladder muscles or damage to the nerves responsible for bladder control.

  • Urethral obstructions caused by physical anomalies such as tumours, urinary tract stones, scar formations, swelling from infections, or the bladder dropping within the abdomen, preventing normal urine flow.

  • Nerve injuries affecting bladder functionality, which can stem from various conditions including diabetes, alcohol misuse, neurological diseases like Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis, spinal issues, or as a result of back surgery.

  • Certain medications, like anticonvulsants and antidepressants, interfere with the bladder's nerve signals, affecting its ability to empty fully.

  • Problems with the prostate often parallel overflow incontinence in men; follow our tips regarding prostate problems in men.

  • Have you recently had surgery on the prostate? This can also provoke incontinence after prostate surgery.

Even something so simple as coughing can lead to leakages; learn how to stop urine leakage when coughing.

How Common is Overflow Incontinence?

While urinary incontinence affects both genders, overflow incontinence is predominantly a male concern. Statistics reveal what percentage of the population are affected by incontinence, and that a significant portion of the male population will experience some form of urinary incontinence, with overflow incontinence being a notable contributor.

Overflow Urinary Incontinence Causes

Overflow incontinence can be provoked by numerous causes. The most prevalent cause among men is an enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Other factors include nerve damage, medications, or conditions that affect bladder muscle strength or nerve function.

Risk Factors for Overflow Incontinence

Men experiencing prostate-related health issues are at a higher risk of developing overflow incontinence. This condition can stem from an enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or from complications arising from prostate cancer, which may lead to the urethra being obstructed. 

Such blockages can cause urine flow to become restricted, leading to only minimal urine release during urination. Furthermore, treatments for prostate cancer, including surgery and radiation, can result in the formation of scar tissue, known as a stricture, further impeding urine flow. In scenarios where the bladder does not empty entirely, it quickly refills, causing potential urine leakage once it reaches its capacity.

Additionally, for those with diabetes, that have sustained nerve damage, or those with spinal cord injuries are particularly susceptible to overflow incontinence. These conditions can significantly impair the normal functioning of the bladder and urinary tract, increasing the likelihood of incontinence.

Symptoms of Overflow Incontinence

Symptoms include constant urine dribbling and frequent, minimal urination, all of which indicate the bladder's reduced capacity to empty. These signs underscore the necessity of seeking treatment to improve quality of life and prevent complications.

Diagnosis of Overflow Incontinence

Identifying overflow incontinence starts with a detailed medical history and physical examination by a healthcare provider. This may involve specific assessments such as a rectal prostate exam in men to evaluate the prostate's size and condition, which can be a contributing factor to overflow incontinence symptoms. 

Patients might also be asked to maintain a bladder diary, noting their liquid intake, urination frequency, and any instances of urine leakage. This diary can provide valuable insights into the urinary pattern and help in formulating a diagnosis.

Various tests play a crucial role in diagnosing overflow incontinence, including:

  • Urinalysis: To detect signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs) or blood in the urine, which can indicate underlying conditions.

  • Abdominal Ultrasound: Offers a visual examination of the bladder and kidneys to identify abnormalities.

  • Cystoscopy: A direct look inside the urinary tract to identify blockages or other abnormalities.

  • Urodynamic Testing: Measures the bladder's ability to empty steadily and completely, helping to pinpoint dysfunction in the bladder muscles or nerves.

  • Post-Void Residual Measurement: Determines the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination, indicating potential blockages or bladder muscle issues.

How to Manage and Treat Overflow Incontinence in Men

Management strategies for overflow incontinence aim to mitigate symptoms and address the underlying causes. Natural management techniques include:

  • Bladder Training: Involves urinating at set times to prevent the bladder from becoming too full.

  • Double Voiding: Encourages fully emptying the bladder by urinating, waiting a few minutes, and then trying to urinate again.

  • Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels): Strengthen the muscles supporting the bladder, improving bladder control.

For more direct interventions, treatments may include:

  • Medications: To reduce prostate enlargement or address other specific causes contributing to overflow incontinence.

  • Surgery: To remove blockages or correct structural problems in the urinary tract.

  • Catheterisation: Either intermittent self-catheterization or indwelling catheters can be used to ensure the bladder is emptied regularly, preventing overflow.

  • Nerve Stimulation: Techniques like percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) or sacral nerve stimulation can help improve nerve function and, consequently, bladder control.

Products and Medical Devices for Managing Overflow Incontinence

A range of products and medical devices can help manage overflow incontinence symptoms effectively. Our molicare for men range is
designed to absorb leaks offer a discreet way to stay dry throughout the day. 

For men, incontinence pads can be worn comfortably under clothing. Additionally, catheters represent a critical tool for those needing assistance to empty their bladder fully, whether through intermittent self-catheterisation or indwelling solutions for more severe cases. 

These aids can mitigate the daily impact of overflow urinary incontinence, allowing those to maintain an active and confident lifestyle.

What Complications are Associated with Overflow Incontinence

Overflow incontinence can lead to various complications, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin irritation, and even kidney damage due to prolonged bladder overfilling. The constant leakage, although small in volume, accumulates, potentially causing social anxiety and depression from concerns over odour and appearance. Awareness and proactive management of these risks are crucial to prevent more serious health issues and maintain skin integrity.

Knowing how to control incontinence smells is a big step towards preventing these complications.

Living with Overflow Incontinence

When living with overflow incontinence, keeping in touch with your doctor or healthcare providers is key towards aiding and preventing further incidents. Questions about the underlying causes, treatment options, and lifestyle adjustments can help tailor management strategies specific to your needs. 

For many, addressing the root cause of urinary retention can lead to significant improvement, reducing the need for invasive treatments like catheterisation.

You can even read more information about how to live with incontinence using our guidance today.

Questions for Your Healthcare Provider

Having a conversation with your healthcare provider about overflow incontinence can be pivotal in managing your condition effectively. Consider asking them the following:

  • Can you identify the specific reasons behind my urinary retention and overflow incontinence?
  • Could you explain the findings of my recent test results?

  • Are there any home-based treatments I can implement to manage my condition?

  • What alternative treatment strategies are available for my situation?

  • Would catheterization or nerve stimulation be beneficial in my case?

  • What potential complications should I be aware of with catheterization or nerve stimulation treatments?

Treatment Available for Overflow Incontinence in Men

In summary, while overflow incontinence presents challenges, a combination of appropriate management strategies, preventive measures, and supportive care can lead to a positive outlook and improved quality of life. With advancements in male incontinence treatment and a better understanding of the condition, individuals can navigate their diagnosis with confidence and dignity.


What is the cause of overflow urinary incontinence? 

Overflow urinary incontinence is primarily caused by the bladder's inability to empty properly, leading to urine leakage due to the bladder becoming overly full. This condition can be due to nerve damage, bladder muscle weakness, or blockages.

How do you fix a bladder overflow? 

Treating bladder overflow typically involves addressing the underlying cause, such as using catheterization to ensure complete bladder emptying, medications to improve bladder function, or surgery to remove blockages.

Why do I leak urine when I stand up after urinating? Leaking urine upon standing up after urination is often due to post-micturition dribble, a condition where urine trapped in the urethra leaks out after voiding. This can happen due to weakened pelvic floor muscles or issues with the urethra's closure mechanism.