Overactive bladder in men: symptoms, causes, and treatments

When you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. But does it feel like you’re going more often than you used to? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of men live with symptoms that cause them embarrassment and limit their day-to-day activities. Luckily there are treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help ease an overactive bladder and give the control back to you.

Enlarged prostate vs. overactive bladder

An enlarged is not the same thing as an . But in many cases, an overactive bladder (OAB) is a symptom of an enlarged prostate, which is a common result of ageing. 
Your urethra passes through your prostate, so when your prostate becomes enlarged it compresses the urethra, restricting the flow of urine. This means the bladder has to work harder to fight the resistance, which can lead receptors in the bladder to become hypersensitive and send signals to your brain that you need to urinate. The urinary urgency you experience as a result is called OAB. This is one of several possible symptoms of bladder emptying difficulties caused by an enlarged prostate. Some other symptoms are: 
  • Difficulty getting the flow of urine started 
  • Having to strain or force urine to come out 
  • Having a weak or split urine stream 
  • Having to go to the bathroom many times during the day 
  • Frequently waking up at night needing to pee 
  • Urinary dribbling 

Other causes of urine leakage

While an enlarged is the most common cause of issues in men, there are numerous other factors that can lead to symptoms such as frequent toilet visits or urine leakage. These factors may include: 
  • Weakened can allow urine to remain trapped in the urethra when you pee. As you move about afterwards, this can leak out in small amounts, known as “post-micturition dribble.” 
  • Stress urinary incontinence – involuntary urine leakages when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising – is not a common condition in men but can happen after prostate surgery if the sphincter muscle is weakened or damaged so that it is not able to fully close the urethra. 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Chronic constipation 
  • Bladder stones 
  • Uncontrolled diabetes 
  • Mobility issues (e.g. having difficulty reaching the toilet in time) 
  • Obesity 
  • Drinking large amounts of caffeine 
  • Taking certain medications that may affect the urinary tract 
  • Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis 
Despite the discomfort to one’s work, social life, and sleep, many people find the disorder embarrassing and don’t seek medical advice or solutions to the symptoms. But you don’t have to let your or leakage issues rule your life. Good treatment is available, and with the right consultation, you can take back control. 

Treatment options

The first step in any treatment is always to be diagnosed by a qualified doctor, who will need to understand your health background (like urinary health, lifestyle, current medications, medical conditions, and previous procedures). The doctor might also ask you for a bladder diary in order to get a better understanding of your situation. This is followed by a thorough physical exam to understand the current health of your lower urinary tract and bladder. 
Based on the results of the diagnosis – which may vary from person to person – your doctor will recommend a number of treatment options based on your individual needs. 

Lifestyle changes

While you may have heard that many people with an find relief by making certain lifestyle choices, you should always consult your doctor to find out the cause of your problems before making any changes. Treatment recommendations are always based on individual needs, and a proper diagnosis is the first step to taking back control.  
It’s likely your doctor will indeed recommend lifestyle changes. These may include: 
  • Retraining your bladder 
  • Keeping track of your drinking habits and avoiding alcohol and caffeine 
  • Pelvic floor exercises 
  • Weight loss 
In addition to the above points, your doctor will likely recommend using products. At TENA, you can find products specifically designed for men, that are secure and discreet, and protect you from odour.  

You’re not alone – talk to a doctor and regain control

Symptoms of an in men are quite common, especially with age and an enlarged . While there are many causes for these symptoms, the outlook is good in most situations. Have a frank conversation with your doctor to get a correct diagnosis and the right treatment, so you can regain control of your time and your daily life.