Penile Clamps/Cuffs for Male Urinary Incontinence

doctor male discussion penile clamp

Your healthcare professional should be consulted prior to using a penile clamp for male urinary incontinence.

The penile clamp or cuff are devices that may be used to manage some urine leakage in some men.  It may be used by men after prostate surgery who have some urine leakage. The clamp/cuff, which has a soft foam inside, is placed half way down the shaft and when in place and closed, it compresses the urethra so that urine cannot escape. The clamp is sometimes referred to as a Cunningham clamp. Modern cuffs devices protect circulation, which greatly increases its safety and comfort over a clamp device. Some newer clamp and cuff designs also include an absorbent product for extra security.Continue reading

Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises

pelvic floor muscle exercises will help strengthen the male pelvic floor muscles

This is a diagram of the male pelvic floor.  Men and women can both do pelvic floor muscle exercises to help strengthening the muscles located in their pelvic floors to help control urine leakage.

Pelvic floor muscle exercises make the pelvic floor muscles stronger.  Strengthening these muscles may help you have more control over leaking urine during times of physical stress, such as laughing, coughing, or sneezing.  These exercises are often referred to as Kegel exercises.

Everyone has a pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form a hammock shape in your pelvis.  Pelvic floor muscles hold up the pelvic organs and keep them in the right place. In women these organs are the uterus, bowel and bladder. In men the same muscles hold the bowel and bladder. The muscles of the pelvic floor can become weak and can start to sag. This can happen because of injuries, pregnancy, childbirth, or surgery (including prostate surgery and hysterectomies). The muscles can also become weaker from carrying extra weight, or from chronic coughingContinue reading

Prescription Drugs for Overactive Bladder (OAB)

drugs for overactive bladder (OAB)

There are several prescription drugs for overactive bladder (OAB).

The FDA approved medications, or drugs, currently available on the U.S. market for the treatment of urinary incontinence are for a specific condition called overactive bladder (OAB). Some are also used for OAB with urge urinary incontinence (UUI). You may have seen advertisements on television or in magazines for these medications. Most of the prescription drugs for OAB partially calm the bladder muscles that cause abnormal contractions, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of the overwhelming urge to urinate. Some of these drugs may also increase the bladder’s capacity to hold urine and delay the initial urge to void. This class of drugs is referred to as antimuscarinics.

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Antidiarrheal Medications and Laxatives

antidiarrheal medications laxatives for bowel problems

Problems in the bowel can lead to the need for antidiarrheal medications and laxatives.

Antidiarrheal medications and laxatives can be used either to either bulk up stool (in the case of diarrhea) or soften stool (in the case of constipation).  Diarrhea may cause a person to have bowel incontinence and constipation may cause a person to have overflow diarrhea and bowel incontinence.

NOTE:  Medications and laxatives can be used to treat a variety of different types of bowel incontinence but should always be discussed first with a doctor or medical professional.

Antidiarrheal medications and laxatives are less invasive than surgery and may be tried as a first- line of treatment.  They can be stopped at any time if the desired results are not achieved or of the side-effects are undesirable.Continue reading

Kegel Exercises for Men for Pelvic Floor Strengthening

use kegel exercises to strenghten the male pubooccygeus muscle

Kegel exercises are done by tightening and relaxing the PC or pubococcygeus muscles located in the pelvic floor.

While many women are familiar with Kegel exercises for strengthening their pelvic floor muscle, Kegel exercises are also important for men. Keeping the pelvic floor muscle strong can be especially important for men prior to and after prostate surgery, for those with overactive bladder (OAB) and for those with chronic conditions, such as diabetes. Men who have urinary and/or fecal incontinence and light leakage of urine right after urinating will often also benefit from Kegel exercises.Continue reading

Hormone Replacement Therapy in Women

hormone replacement therapy vaginal creams

A vaginal hormone replacement therapy cream may help with vulvovaginal symptoms related to menopause. Ask your doctor if this might be right for you.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), also called Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT), is most commonly given to women during or after menopause.  HRT is used to help alleviate the symptoms of menopause. These replacement hormones are usually in pill, patch, gel, or pellet forms and work on the whole body. As far as using HRT for urinary incontinence symptoms, there is evidence from a meta-review from a 2012 report from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force*  that says using estrogen or estrogen plus progestin (the kind that acts on the whole body) actually increased cases of urinary incontinence.

HRT and ERT used alone are not effective to treat incontinence. They should also not be used solely to try and prevent incontinence symptoms.Continue reading

Fiber Therapy for Bowel Incontinence

granola fiber therapy

Fiber therapy includes adding whole grains and fresh fruits to your diet.

Fiber absorbs liquids in the digestive system, thereby bulking up fecal matter. It is recommended that women under 50 consume 25 grams of fiber per day. A woman over 50 years of age should consume 21 grams per day. Men younger under 50 are recommended to get 38 grams per day. Men over 50 should get 30 grams per day in his diet. The average American, however, only has about 15 grams of fiber per day in his or her diet. And what is fiber therapy?  Fiber therapy is simply increasing your fiber intake gradually until you reach the recommended daily intake for your age.

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Electric Stimulation of the Pelvic Floor Muscles

During electric stimulation (or e-stim for short), sticky pads are stuck to the skin around the vagina or a little piece of plastic is placed into the vagina or rectum. A very small amount of electricity goes into this pad or piece of plastic and makes the muscles move and contract.  These contractions are exercises for the pelvic floor muscles. With these exercises, the pelvic floor muscles can get stronger — just like an arm muscle that gets regular exercise. E-stim is usually started by a doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse or physical therapist. He or she will work with you one or more times per week for several weeks.  Practitioners usually incorporate biofeedback at the same time as the e-stim, but not always.Continue reading

Dietary Changes for Managing Bowel Incontinence

eliminating alcohol as part of dietary changes

Alcohol may be part of some dietary changes needed to manage bowel incontinence symptoms.

Foods that commonly contribute to diarrhea and bowel incontinence are chocolate, dairy products, alcohol, and caffeine. Try eating less of these foods to see if it improves the consistency of your bowel movements. In addition to adding  fiber to your diet, other dietary changes may include undergoing an elimination diet to see if certain foods trigger incontinence of stool.Continue reading

Catheters for Managing Urinary Incontinence

catther in place in a male

Diagram of an intermittent catheter in place in a male for Clean Intermittent Catheterization (CIC).

There are three types of catheter products that are used for managing urinary incontinence: indwelling (sometimes called a Foley) catheters, suprapubic catheters, and  intermittent catheters. The process of catheterization prevents a difficult-to-empty bladder from becoming overly full and backing up into the kidneys.  This prevents kidney damage because these catheter drains urine from the bladder.Continue reading