Incontinence in Young Men
Urinary incontinence is often thought to be an issue that only affects middle-aged women and the elderly, but it can happen to anyone at any age, including otherwise fit and healthy young men. Unfortunately, these pre-conceptions leave the vast majority of young male sufferers feeling unsupported and embarrassed about their problem. This in turn can lead to social isolation, poor body image, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Many young men would rather suffer in silence than suffer the embarrassment of talking to their peers or their GP, and so they end up living their lives around their condition rather than seeking help.
How common is incontinence in young men?
Unfortunately, the lack of openness surrounding the condition makes it hard to estimate exactly how many young men suffer urinary continence problems. Some studies estimate that around 3% of men aged 15-44 have continence issues, but the number may be far higher. Whatever the true extent of the problem, the important thing to remember is that you are not alone and that there are a significant number of young men in exactly the same situation. Your GP will have dealt with this problem many times before, and nothing you can say will shock or embarrass them.
Why should you see your doctor?
Incontinence services in the UK are far from perfect. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Continence Care found that although the NHS has a roadmap for ‘Excellence in Continence Care’, the implementation of this has been ‘painfully slow’. Nonetheless, it is important to see your GP as there are a number of treatments available that could ease your condition, and a number of potential causes that need to be ruled out, such as a blockage or a neurological issue. Sadly, research shows that nearly two thirds of men aged 18-24 would be embarrassed to talk to their GP about incontinence and on average men wait over four years to seek treatment for incontinence problems. That’s four years of struggling with something that could be easily cured with medication, surgery or even simple lifestyle changes.
What can be done to help?
Many studies show that simply telling friends or family, and seeking medical help, can provide great relief to young men with incontinence. Most incontinence problems in young men don’t need either medication or surgery but can be vastly improved through a combination of lifestyle changes and bladder training. Reducing alcohol and caffeine, stopping smoking and losing body weight can make a big difference, as can training your bladder to go longer between toilet visits and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles to support this.
In some cases, medication can be used to treat the cause of incontinence. For example, if the issue is an overactive bladder, where you need to go suddenly and urgently, medication can be used to relax the muscles. Similarly, in cases of stress incontinence, where leakage occurs when you cough, sneeze or laugh, drugs can be used to tighten the bladder muscles to give you more control.
Living with incontinence
Whatever the cause, there is a vast range of male incontinence products available from IncoDirect to help deal with the problem discreetly. These include anatomically designed shields and guards especially for men, as well as incontinence pants that look and feel just like normal underpants, so only you will know. What’s more, with our direct delivery, presented in plain packaging, you can access these products without any of the embarrassment of visiting the chemist or the supermarket checkout.
Don’t suffer alone
If you are a young man suffering from urinary incontinence, it is important to understand that you are not alone and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. This is a common problem with many quick and easy solutions that can help you regain control of your bladder, and with it regain control of your life. Seek help today and with the right medical advice, treatment, lifestyle changes and product support, you could enjoy a more comfortable, confident tomorrow.