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How does Urinary Incontinence appear?

Urinary incontinence with men can appear in several different ways:

1) Trouble with emptying the bladder
As the years go by, a lot of men have increasing trouble emptying their bladder. This mostly appears as a slow stream of urine, waiting a long time before urination begins, pressing the urine out by using the abdominals together with a feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely. It appears as if there is increased resistance in the urethra when the bladder is emptied.

It is estimated that one in every ten men over 40 have trouble emptying their bladders – and even frequent the older the men gets.

With a few men the resistance in the urethra can become so big that the bladder does not empty at all – not a single drop can be squeezed from it. A total urine stop such as that is very painful and can only be handled with help from the doctor.

A lot of those men who have trouble emptying their bladders experience it as a big problem in their everyday life. Often they will hold back on drinks as parties or gatherings because they know that urinating can take a very long time.

2) Overactive bladder
Appears as a sudden strong urge to urinate where you barely or not at all reach the toilet in time and as frequent urination.

An overactive bladder is at least as common as trouble with emptying the bladder and is often experienced as a bigger problem.

The urge for urinating comes like a bolt from the blue and with so short warning that the toilet is not reached in time. The bladder empties completely or partially without being able to control it. Typically, it concerns large amounts of urine at every case of urinary incontinence. It is not few drops that can be collected in a sanitary towel; on the contrary it is a large urination that is very visible. Pain may occur during this form of urinary incontinence.

Frequent urination – meaning more than 8 times a day – is also typical. Most people wake up several times a night with an urge for urination. Some men wake up so many times during the night that they are tired during the day.

Those who suffer from overactive bladder are very conscious about where the toilet is. The first thing they look for when going somewhere new is a toilet – just in case! Longer travels in car or plane are avoided because it is so important to be able to reach a toilet quickly.

3) A mixture of the two first
A lot of men both have trouble emptying their bladder and an overactive bladder. It is estimated that one in every five men over 60 have both types of urinary incontinence at the same time.

If you have trouble with both emptying your bladder and an overactive bladder you are doubly affected. Obviously, this form of urinary incontinence is very troublesome.

Some men are most bothered by the slow stream of urine and trouble with emptying their bladder while other men are most bothered by the frequent strong urge to urinate.

4) Dripping after urination
Dripping after you feel you have finished urination.

You have taken your time to completely finish. You know that there is no more left. You button your trousers and exit the bathroom. Within the next few minutes a blotch forms on the trousers and you know that it has happened again. That is how men with dripping after urination describe their troubles.

Dripping after urination is the type of urinary incontinence that men experience most frequently. Around one in every three men over 60 experience dripping after urination as a problem in their everyday life.

Further reading on Why do I have urinary incontinence?