For Men Only
I’m writing this blog, entitled; For Men Only specifically for those men who have or are about to undergo prostate surgery and have been informed by their physician that the surgery may result in bladder weakness or urinary incontinence. It’s no surprise that men find such news difficult to cope with. The news from the doctor about urinary incontinence although distressing, in actuality is not all bad. Though men may experience bladder weakness and incontinence following prostate surgery, most men will regain bladder control over time and fully recover during the first year after surgery.
For those men who are confronted with prostate surgery, I feel I should at least attempt to give my best try at explaining the anatomy and physiology of the urinary tract system and especially the relationship between the prostate gland and the bladder. Keep in mind that my blogs do not contain sophisticated medical explanations of the topics being discussed. Instead, I make an effort to use simple, pragmatic explanations and diagrams with the hope of not confusing the average lay person who is seeking a basic understanding of the subjects being presented. So, for those men who want to know more about the effects of prostate surgery on bladder function, I offer the following:
I can best do this in steps along with a single diagram:
- When you drink liquids, the liquid is absorbed through your body and eventually reaches the kidneys. Refer to #1.
- A prime function of the kidneys is to filter out waste matter and extra water to make urine.
- From each kidney there is a tube that is connected to the bladder.
- These tubes are called “ureters”. Refer to #2.
- The urine that is produced in the kidneys flows from the kidneys through the ureters into the bladder, where it is stored until the bladder becomes full.
- The bladder is much like a balloon, and as it fills it expands like a balloon. Refer to #4.
- When the bladder has accumulated about a couple of cups of urine, signals are sent to one’s brain to indicate that the bladder is becoming full and ready for emptying.
- If, for some reason, you cannot get to a bathroom, the bladder continues to expand to hold more urine.
- The signal to go to the bathroom becomes stronger and stronger as the bladder continues to expand further.
- When you do go to the bathroom, the brain tells the bladder to release the urine, which results in urination.
- In men, urination is the flow of urine from the bladder, through another tube that exits the bladder known as the urethra. Refer to #3.
- In the illustration, you are able to easily trace the urinary tract.
- #1 (kidneys), #2 (ureters), #3 (urethra), #4 (bladder), #5 (prostate gland).
- In viewing the illustration, on the bottom of the bladder, there is walnut sized gland (Refer to #5)…this is the prostate gland…look closely and you will see that the urethra passes through the prostate gland and you will also see that the prostate gland nearly touches the bladder. This is where the problem arises during prostate surgery.If, during prostate surgery, there is damage to the sphincter muscle of the bladder (the muscle that controls the flow of urine from the bladder into the urethra), then one will experience incontinence.The question now becomes…how does a man now manage his incontinence?
Incontinence products for men
At this point, I would like to discuss the best choices of incontinence products for men. Pads should be your first choice in managing urinary incontinence following prostate surgery. There are several brand named pads on the market. Today, I’m SPOTLIGHTING an excellent pad by TENA called TENA® MEN™ Absorbent Guards. These pads are available for men experiencing light to moderate leakage, which is usually the case after prostate surgery.
TENA® MEN™ Absorbent Guards will give you all-day comfort, dryness and security. This cup-shaped product is designed to follow the contours of a man’s body for a snug secure fit. It has adhesive strips that secures the product in its optimum position when worn within a close fitting brief or jockey style underwear. The super absorbent microbeads in the core of the pad lock in liquid quickly. A unique odor control super-absorbent polymer helps reduce unwanted urine odors. Also of importance is that Tena Men’s Pads are constructed with a soft, nonwoven backsheet that is gentle against the skin and most importantly less noisy for wearer’s discretion.
Click on the images to get full details of these excellent Tena products for men.
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In my next blog, I will be following up on men’s issues pertaining to urinary incontinence. Until then…
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