Why do I still have stress incontinence after prostate cancer?
Problems with the prostate are a common cause of incontinence. It can be disappointing to learn after you address cancer with surgery or radiation, that incontinence is still a concern. It can be helpful to know you aren’t alone and that your experience is normal. Many men continue to deal with incontinence after prostate cancer, even after cancer treatment.
What’s going on?
Both surgery and radiation alter the way the bladder holds urine. You may find that your bladder can hold less urine, or the sphincter muscles may become damaged and no longer keep urine in. In some cases, removal of a valve associated with radical prostatectomy interferes with your ability to control urine. Your incontinence symptoms may range from dribbling to complete release of the bladder. Most common among men who have had prostate cancer is stress incontinence. This kind of incontinence is the involuntary release of urine with coughing, exertion, laughing, or sneezing.
What can help?
The good news is that more effective treatment options are becoming available. Talk with your doctor about surgical and behavioral options to manage incontinence. Many men find that with time, symptoms of incontinence resolve completely or improve. Options such as an artificial sphincter or mesh sling are just two of many procedures that have provided relief. Improvement is possible with medication and/or lifestyle changes as well.
What can I do?
It is important to start with managing your expectations. Living with incontinence after prostate cancer may or may not last indefinitely. Whether or not it does, it is important to own your life. Get back to your normal activities as soon as you can. That is easier when you feel comfortable and confident. Here are some strategies that can help:
- Lose weight if you are carrying around a few extra pounds.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises.
- Avoid foods that irritate the bladder such as caffeine, citrus, acidic or spicy foods.
- Use the bathroom as soon as you need to instead of waiting.
- Wear clothing that is easy to manipulate.
- Talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking that may worsen incontinence.
Try Men’s Liberty
Men’s Liberty Male External Catheter is designed to give men living with incontinence back the freedom to lead active, vital lives. Feel confident day or night with our easy to use system. You’ll have no worries about leaks, accidents or odor. Men’s Liberty offers up to 24-hours of secure protection. Get back to the things you enjoy, You don’t have to wait with Men’s Liberty. Call us today.