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Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: How Prostate Cancer Relates to Urinary Incontinence

By Complete Care Specialist September 21, 2018

prostate cancer
Urinary incontinence simply means that you have less control or no control over your bladder. Lots of people have urinary incontinence, but until recently, there was very little research being done to better understand it. One area of interest is it's relation to prostate cancer. Unlike most other risk factors, prostate cancer itself, and the treatments of prostate cancer can result in urinary incontinence. 

How does this happen? Often, a symptom of prostate cancer is an enlarged prostate. When a man's prostate grows larger, it can press on the urethra. This can cause some men with prostate enlargement to have trouble with urination. In other cases, like after radical prostatectomy, men have a hard time controlling their urination as a result of the surgical area being so close to the bladder and urethra. Prostate cancer surgery may weaken the muscles that control your urine flow, as well as damage the nerves that help control your bladder. This is why you might leak urine or have difficulty controlling your urination after your surgery. Urinary incontinence can seem daunting but it is not something that should get in the way of you living a normal life. There are lots of treatments and ways to mitigate incontinence, but the first step is identifying that you may be experiencing it.

Signs of Incontinence

If you notice any of these signs, you might be experiencing incontinence. In that case, you may need a urinary catheter or other incontinence products.

    • Leaking urine

    • Passing urine frequently (more than eight times a day)

    • A sudden urge to go to the toilet quickly (urgency)

    • Needing to go to the toilet quickly and leaking urine before you get there (urge incontinence)

    • Difficulty emptying your bladder fully

    • Getting up more than twice at night to pass urine

Urinary Catheters for Incontinence 

For more than 3,500 years, urinary catheters have been used to drain the bladder when it fails to empty on its own, as well as to help with other incontinence problems. An intermittent catheter is inserted into your bladder, usually through the urethra, to drain the urine before being removed. In incontinence instances when the bladder cannot fully empty, an intermittent catheter is typically used.

A more common urinary catheter that is used for incontinence is called an external catheter, also called a condom catheter or a Texas catheter. These are a less invasive approach to dealing with incontinence and they catch the urine as apposed to draining it. Probably how it got it's nickname, an external catheter is put on in a similar fashion to a condom, only the tip has an opening that connects to a drainage bag or leg bag for the urine to be collected. This type of catheter is used in incontinence cases that involve urine leaking.  

If you have any questions or would like more information contact us at, call our toll free number: (800)-503-7604, or speak with your personal representative, if you are a patient of ours. 

Prostate Cancer Awareness

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. That being said, it's not the only time of year you should consider the importance of prostate health. It's important to get regular screenings for prostate cancer because the earlier you detect it, the better your prognosis will likely be.


If you would like to read more about incontinence, you can check out some of our other blogs on it by clicking, here.

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