For Men Only - Part 2

For Men Only – Part 2

Today’s blog, For Men Only Part 2, is an extension of last week’s blog, which focused on urinary incontinence in men following prostate surgery.  In last week’s blog, it was pointed out that during the surgical removal of the prostate gland, there is a good chance of damaging the sphincter muscle of the bladder (the sphincter muscle of the bladder is the muscle that opens and closes the bladder during urination).  The reason that the sphincter muscle is susceptible to being damaged during the surgical procedure is because of the close proximity of the prostate gland to the bladder. A damaged sphincter muscle will usually result in varying degrees of urinary incontinence.  This type of urinary incontinence, in the majority of cases, is not permanent and most men will regain bladder control over time.  In last week’s blog, I also talked about how men can take immediate measures to manage their leakage problem by availing themselves to common incontinence products that are designed to absorb small to moderate amounts of urine leakage.  I SPOTLIGHED a highly recommended Tena product for MEN.

Learning more about urinary incontinence as a result of prostate surgery

Since prostate surgery is becoming more prevalent, I feel it necessary to give you even more background regarding the relationship between prostate surgery and urinary incontinence. When men are exposed to the right information about this subject, they become much more tolerant to the negative aspects of the surgery.  It’s understandable that initially most men are aggravated and frustrated with their incontinence.  They feel alone and apprehensive about others knowing about their condition, even to the point of avoiding normal social activities for fear of “outing” themselves.  I say…get over it Guys!  Stop feeling sorry for yourselves because there are many things you can do to help regain control over your bladder.  Keep in mind, that in most instances, your incontinence is not going to be permanent.

The first thing to do is learn how to manage your incontinence by becoming familiar with your symptoms.  Urinary incontinence usually occurs when you undertake activities that increase the pressure inside the abdomen, and push down on the bladder.  When this happens, urine will leak out of the bladder.  This is known as stress incontinence.  Your next step, and a very important step, indeed, is to learn about pelvic floor muscles and the role they play in managing stress incontinence...

What are pelvic floor muscles?

Pelvic floor muscles is another set of muscles that are located below the prostate in an area of the body called the pelvic floor.  Here comes the Good News!  Remember, the prostate gland has been removed and during its removal there was damage to the sphincter muscle of the bladder.  The pelvic floor muscles can now serve as a back-up sphincter to the bladder sphincter that was damaged during surgery. Therefore, although the damaged bladder sphincter muscles are not properly functioning, the back-up sphincter muscles in the pelvis floor can now be relied on to control the flow of urine.   WOW! Does that mean, I have nothing to worry about? Not quite!  What it means is that the back-up muscles are present, but they’re weak, and have to trained and strengthened before they can work for you.  Let me further explain.  Before your surgery, which could have resulted in damage to the bladder sphincter muscles, these pelvic floor back-up sphincter muscles have been idle.  Now you want to strengthen and activate these idle muscles to take the place of those that have been damaged.  Can it be done?  You bet it can!

How does one strengthen the pelvic floor muscles?

You strengthen pelvic floor muscles by doing exercises known as Kegel Exercises.  There is no need for me to go into a lengthy explanation about Kegel Exercises because I have done this in a previous blog.  I strongly suggest you visit that blog to learn the correct techniques for doing Kegel Exercises.  I can’t stress enough how important it is to use the correct technique when doing pelvic floor muscle exercises.  So, click on the above link and get started as soon as possible.  The sooner you start the faster you will be on the road to controlling urine leakage after prostate surgery.  In fact, ideally you should start doing Kegel Exercises about 3 to 4 weeks prior to surgery so that you will be well trained in the technique following your surgery.

Lastly, following your prostate surgery, you should drink adequate liquids to prevent bladder irritability.  Don’t stay away from drinking because you feel that drinking exacerbates leakage.  It is strongly recommended that you drink about 2 quarts of fluid each day.  A good guide to your fluid intake is to look at the color of your urine.  Pale yellow urine is a good guide to adequate fluid intake.  I feel that I have amply covered how men should go about managing urinary incontinence following the surgical removal of the prostate gland.  Remember the very encouraging Good News…this usually is a temporary condition that can be adequately managed.

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