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Behavioural Therapy and Male Incontinence

Posted Dec 13 2010 5:57am
Urinary incontinence is a condition that affects millions of men worldwide and it is caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most prominent cause is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a natural enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs as a natural part of aging.

First of all don’t panic just because I said it is natural enlargement of the prostate and it happens as men age, this doesn’t mean that all men will have incontinence at some point in life.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is related to age factors such as uncontrolled hormone balance and causes commonly known as “ overflow incontinence “. This type of incontinence occurs when a certain individual is unable to empty their bladder completely during a deliberate urination session due to constriction or blockage of the urethra, in BPH cases the enlargement of the prostate blocks the urethra.

Since the bladder depends on a clear urethra to empty itself properly, pressure can build up inside and force urine out past the blockage without warning.

The first line of defence against BPH is behavioural therapy. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle will help preserve muscle tone in the pelvic area. Some say that sex is also a good way to prevent BPH as regular ejaculation helps maintain muscle tone in the pelvic and urinary sphincter area, but unfortunately there is no medical evidence to back this claim.

Not to worry if you haven’t lived a healthy life up until now, there are a number of therapies available to help you improve you condition. Bladder retraining and Biofeedback are two of them.

With bladder retraining you will learn how to strengthen the bladder muscles and adjust urinating time spans by voiding at repetitive, timed intervals. This will improve the bladder’s capacity and extend the interval between voiding.

Biofeedback is also a type of behavioural therapy, where a simple instrument detects when a chosen muscle relaxes or contracts and provides a secondary method of feedback for the patient, such as a light or sound. The added feedback allows patients to exercise and improve control of selected muscles.

It is important to highlight the fact that with incontinence there isn’t a set treatment for all patients, each case should be accessed individually. Because what works for one patient might not work for others. So our last piece of advice is, if you are experiencing some sort incontinence episodes talk to your GP and let him suggest what is the best treatment for your type of incontinence .

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