The way men urinate changes slowly as they get older, so at first men may not notice there is a problem. The usual changes include:
These could be due to infection or other cause needing treatment.
The two most common causes of bladder problems in men are ageing and enlargement of the prostate gland.
Problems with bladder control can be annoying but, generally, if they are mild they will not affect your health and may be improved by following the self care measures below. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms. They will be able to let you know whether medication, surgery or prostate cancer testing is right for you.
Some men may be able to improve their bladder control by simple measures such as:
Read more about the milking technique, Kegel exercises and bladder training.
Medication may be an option, depending on the cause of your bladder control problems. If you have troublesome symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate (BPH), your doctor may prescribe one of the following medicines:
Sometimes, both BPH and overactive bladder may be present, so two different medications can be used. If medicines are not helpful then you may be referred to a urologist (a doctor who specialises in urinary tract problems).
Some people may require surgical treatment, depending on the cause of their bladder control problem. For BPH, surgery often involves removing excess prostate tissue to improve the flow of urine through the urethra. About 1 in 4 men with BPH will require this type of surgery.
Urinary symptoms in men NZ Continence Association, 2015Continence information – adults NZ Continence Association, 2015Promoting good bladder and bowel health NZ Continence Association, 2015