Causes of Male Urinary Incontinence

It is estimated that around two million of the male population in the United States experience some form of male urinary incontinence. At its most basic, urinary incontinence is characterized by lack of urine control and is a health issue that can prove extremely embarrassing for the sufferer. There are several causes of urinary incontinence, which can be either a short-term or permanent health problem, dependent upon the situation.

Male Urinary Incontinence Types

The four main types of bladder control problems to afflict men are –

  • Stress Incontinence
  • Urge Incontinence
  • Overflow Incontinence
  • Functional Incontinence


Male stress urinary incontinence is a very common type of bladder control problem, the symptoms of which are the involuntary leakage of urine from the bladder.

Stress incontinence may be brought on by various actions such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy and cumbersome objects and all kinds of exercise or strain that causes excessive pressure to be exerted on the bladder.


Male urge urinary incontinence occurs when a man knows that he must urinate but is unable to get to the bathroom in time and the urine has seeped out by itself.

This type of bladder control problem is typically exhibited in males who have suffered a stroke, or who suffer from dementia, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.


Male overflow urinary incontinence happens when the volume of urine that has accumulated within the bladder is more than it can hold at any one time. This results in the bladder letting some out by itself.


Functional urinary incontinence is similar to urge incontinence in that the individual senses the need to urinate but, because of some type of physical issue, they are unable to get to the bathroom before their bladder lets go.

Male Urinary Incontinence Diagnosis and Treatment an overview 2009 incontinence406

Male Urinary Incontinence Causes

Several health issues can cause male urinary incontinence.

Prostate Problems

A common side effect of an abnormal prostate gland is difficulty urinating along with unpredictability in when it will leak out. When the prostate gland is surgically removed, referred to as a total prostatectomy, urinary incontinence can be a consequence.

Nerve Damage

Any kind of trauma to the head or spinal cord can lead to a man developing urinary incontinence. This happens because any injury, trauma or disease to these areas may cause messages that pass from the bladder to the brain to go out of sync. These messages may become disrupted or lost altogether and dependent upon the nature of the injury, this may either become a short term or permanent problem.

Neurological Disorders

Numerous neurological diseases whether they are benign or cancerous can lead to bladder control problems, as can degenerative conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

The aging process has a way of causing organic brain deterioration and this can play a crucial role in the way we think as well as function on a daily basis.

Occasionally confusion in relation to both space and time can result in male urinary incontinence.

Furthermore, an individual’s state of mind may cause male urinary incontinence to occur. This is especially true when it comes to illness or any type of psychological distress.

Alcohol and Drug Consumption

Toxins such as alcohol or drugs are a common cause of temporary incontinence in men. Any other kinds of harmful drugs, whether swallowed or inhaled, can interfere with the proper functioning of the urinary tract system.


In addition, many prescription medications can result in bladder control problems, particularly when they have a sedation effect on the individual. The greater the dosage, the worse the bladder problem can become.


Occasionally urinary tract problems are caused by an infection that may get rather more serious if not treated. Antibiotics are the way to get this problem under control.