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Stress incontinence in men is the most common form of urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when urine accidentally leaks when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Physiotherapy with Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic can help to significantly to reduce symptoms that are associated with stress incontinence.


What is Stress incontinence?

Urine is constantly travelling from your kidneys and is collected in your bladder. Your bladder then expands as it fills with urine. The bladder is a muscle and is kept closed by a valve called the sphincter until the bladder becomes full. When the bladder is full, the sphincter opens and urine is taken via a tube called the urethra to be passed.

Stress incontinence in men is when urine accidentally leaks due to a sudden increase in pressure or stress on the bladder, sphincter and urethra. This can occur in incidences such as sudden laughing, coughing or sneezing.


What causes stress incontinence in men?

Stress incontinence in men is caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles so that these muscles, the bladder, sphincter and urethra cannot withstand any extra pressure or stress. The extra pressure in the abdomen means that the sphincter has difficulty staying closed and urine is leaked. The amount of urine that is leaked may vary and can either be a small or large quantity.

Stress incontinence in men can be caused by a number of reasons that result in weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

  • It can be caused by any disease, condition or injury that results in damage to the nerves that activate the muscles in the pelvic area. Diabetes, Parkinsons, stroke, spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions are likely to cause decreased bladder control. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and is responsible for producing semen
  • Problems with the prostate such as prostate cancer or enlargement of the prostate can cause decreased bladder control. Also, surgery of the prostate can result in significant weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and therefore bladder problems.



Stress incontinence in men causes symptoms such as leaking of urine when you:

  • Cough, laugh or sneeze
  • Exercise (particularly jumping)
  • Lift or do any movement that puts pressure on the bladder e.g. bending
  • During sex.



If you suffer from stress incontinence then we will work with you in a physiotherapy programme that will include treatment methods which focus on minimising the problems that you are experiencing. Treatment methods include:

  • Strengthening exercises for the pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles
  • Bladder training to help the bladder return to normal function
  • Electrical stimulation may also be used to improve muscle function
  • Instruction and provision of a home exercise programme to improve pelvic floor function
  • Instructions on how to control pelvic floor and abdominal muscles during coughing, sneezing and laughing etc.
  • Breathing control and relaxation exercises
  • Education on how to make lifestyle changes that may affect the bladder.
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