What increases the risk for urinary incontinence in men?

Gender is one of the prime risk factors for urinary incontinence: women are more likely to have incontinence due to carrying and birthing a child, menopause, and the way the female anatomy is constructed. However, men can also be at risk if they have prostate issues. Other illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney disease, can increase your risk for developing urinary incontinence. Lastly, being overweight or smoking can also lead to incontinence.
Gladys Y. Ng, MD
The risk for urinary incontinence in men is increased by the following:
  • advanced age
  • neurologic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis
  • diabetes
  • stroke
  • obesity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • urinary tract infections
  • prostate enlargement
  • previous pelvic surgeries (e.g. bowel resection for bowel cancer)
  • prostatectomy or  resection of the prostate through the urethra
Prostate problems are the leading causes of urinary incontinence in men. However, they are certainly not the only ones. The primary risk factors for male incontinence in men are prostate cancer, benign prostate enlargement, urinary tract infections, prior pelvic surgeries (such as bowel resection or prostatectomy), diabetes, stroke and advanced age.

Prostate cancer surgery often results in incontinence issues. The main type of surgery for prostate cancer is known as a radical prostatectomy, when the surgeon removes the entire prostate gland plus some of the tissue around it.

Continue Learning about Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI) is the accidental release of urine, which can affect both men and women. Symptoms of UI may differ from person to person and the treatment options range from medications to surgery. Learn more from our ex...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.