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Men silent on urinary incontinence – but it’s treatable

Urinary incontinence — accidental loss or leaking of urine — affects up to one in three older men, most of whom go untreated despite the discomfort caused.

Conditions that may cause urinary incontinence in men are ageing, obesity, prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate, nerve damage, bladder or urinary infections, constipation, weak bladder, neurological disorder or loss of sphincter strength.

The most common types of incontinence which affect men are:

  • Stress incontinence: when pressure on the bladder causes leaking.
  • Urgency incontinence or an “overactive bladder” leading to involuntary urination or leaking.
  • Overflow incontinence: when the bladder doesn’t empty properly and urine leaks.

Men may also experience mixed incontinence — a combination of some of the above.

Dr Frans van Wijk from The Urology Hospital, Pretoria – the only specialised institution of its kind in Africa with more than 20 urologists – says the condition is fairly common in both genders (especially in males over 60) and often goes untreated as many men find it uncomfortable to discuss the subject.

“Urinary incontinence affects all aspects of a patient’s quality of life. They avoid social interaction, become depressed and are more prone to falls and fractures.”

He said incontinence in both men and women is treatable and those who experience the condition should consult a urologist. Treatment ranges from simple lifestyle changes through to medication or surgery.

“The Urology Hospital specialises in treating all urological conditions, including urinary incontinence in both men and women. We recommend that anyone experiencing incontinence, or any other urological condition, contact us for a consultation and assessment,” added van Wijk.

Contact The Urology Hospital on 021 423-4300.

About the Urology Hospital, Pretoria

The Urology Hospital is the only urology centre of excellence in Africa. With more than 20 urologists under one roof, using the latest in highly specialised technology as well as specialised urology trained nursing staff, it offers unparalleled expertise in its field. In addition, the hospital maintains its association with the academic world to ensure ongoing research, medical education and training and development in the field of urology.

The hospital prides itself on being at the forefront of technology. It was the first hospital in South Africa to perform robotic surgery, implement a robotic pharmacy picking system and now has one of only a handful of 3D laparoscopic surgical units in South Africa.

The hospital has undergone major renovations and now offers 125 beds and seven theatres.

The Urology Hospital not only cares about patients and staff, but also for the community, undertaking numerous Corporate Social Investment initiatives throughout the year. The hospital and staff work together to assist selected charities, including donations to The Clothing Bank, uniforms for Sunnyside Primary School and stationery for Balebogeng Primary School.


What we Do

Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 


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