The incontinence can vary from a few small leaks, to extensive leaks which cause huge distress, turning some men into recluses because they worry about visible leaking, or starting to smell.
Urinary incontinence can be caused by many things including prostate problems, dementia, or an over-active bladder which contracts uncontrollably.
More commonly though, is incontinence that can occur after a radical prostatectomy to treat cancer. Roughly 4,000 men each year have this operation to remove the prostate gland, and about 2% of these will have incontinence afterwards severe enough to need further surgery.
Patients can be referred to specialist bladder clinics or a urologist to find the cause of the leak and determine the best treatment, which may include pelvic muscle exercises. Men can also use pads for small leaks.