Losing Control Of Your Bladder
Urinary incontinence can range from uncontrolled release of a full bladder to slower leakage. Leaking urine can also present in varying ways, from leaking a few drops after coughing, exercising, or bending, to leaking large quantities or leaking during sex. This usually improves over time if its a result of prostate cancer treatment, however, it can be longer-lasting if its from spinal cord compression. The good news is, there are some ways to manage losing control of your bladder, if needed, including:
- Absorbent pads or pants
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises
- Bed protectors
- Urinary sheaths
If urine incontinence continues for longer periods of time, or becomes a serious impairment to quality of life, there are other additional options including:
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Internal male sling
- Anti-cholinergic medications
All of these options for serious impairment require surgery with the exception of medications. Your doctor will help you determine the side effects and potential benefits for your specific case. Additional lifestyle changes may also be beneficial to help fight urinary incontinence, including eating a well-balanced diet with fiber , exercising , avoiding alcoholic, fizzy, or caffeinated drinks, quitting smoking, and retraining your bladder by creating and maintaining a urination schedule.1-4
How Can I Manage Bowel Problems Myself
Living with bowel problems can be distressing, and for a lot of men itâs not an easy thing to talk about. But remember that doctors and nurses often help men with these issues. Theyâre used to discussing the problem and finding ways to deal with it.You may find it helpful to plan ahead and find out where toilets are before you go out, and carry absorbent pads.If you are having problems with diarrhoea, eating less fibre for a short time may help. Low fibre foods include white rice, pasta and bread, potatoes , cornmeal, eggs and lean white meat. Speak to your doctor, nurse or radiographer before changing your diet.
Foods such as beans and pulses, cruciferous vegetables , fizzy drinks and beer can all cause wind and bloating so you may want to avoid these. Chewing your food slowly can also help.
Symptoms Of Enlarged Prostate
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is the enlargement of the prostate gland. About half of men over age 75 will experience symptoms of BPH. BPH is a very minor condition and is not related to prostate cancer. However, symptoms can cause discomfort and be inconvenient.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Enlarged Prostate
Treatment for enlarged prostate, or BPH, focuses on alleviating bothersome symptoms and will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how much they interfere with your lifestyle.
Men with minimal urinary issues may only need to make lifestyle changes those with more pronounced symptoms or complications from BPH may require medication or a minimally invasive surgical procedure to restore urinary function and quality of life.
Your provider can help you determine which treatment is more appropriate for you.
Avoid caffeine, acidic drinks such as colas, tomato and orange juices, and alcohol. Cold medications containing antihistamines or pseudoephedrine can cause urinary problems. Constipation can also make it more difficult to urinate.
Limit evening beverages and urinate when you first feel the urge.
Your doctor may prescribe one or a combination of medications that can help alleviate urinary symptoms caused by your enlarged prostate. Medications often have some side effects, so talk to your urologist about which medication is right for you.
Specialized, minimally invasive procedures to treat enlarged prostate / BPH are excellent and effective alternatives to long-term medication therapy, often with quick results fewer side effects and improved quality of life. Your urologist will work with you to determine your best treatment option.
- Temporary pelvic pain
Laser Vaporization of the Prostate
Symptoms And Diagnosis Of An Enlarged Prostate
Symptoms of BPH most often develop around the age of 50, although they can be experienced much earlier. Typical symptoms may include:
- A decrease in the force of stream .
- A urine stream that starts and stops throughout the flow.
- A delay in starting the stream.
- Frequent urination during the day.
- A feeling that the bladder has not completely emptied.
- Waking up frequently at night to urinate .
- Dribbling urine at the end of the stream.
- An inability to urinate .
Its important to understand that these symptoms are not part of the normal aging process. If left untreated, they may ultimately be harmful to the bladder or kidneys. For example, incomplete emptying could contribute to urinary tract infections, bladder stones, or urinary incontinence . Its important to seek treatment early to help avoid the risk of developing complications or more permanent problems.
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How Do Doctors Check For Enlarged Prostate
DiagnosisDigital rectal exam. The doctor inserts a finger into the rectum to check your prostate for enlargement.Urine test. Analyzing a sample of your urine can help rule out an infection or other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.Blood test. Prostate-specific antigen blood test.Apr 13, 2021
Getting Back To Normal After Surgery
Even though you should feel much better by the time you leave the hospital, it will probably take a couple of months for you to heal completely. During the recovery period, the following are some common problems that can occur.
- Problems Urinating You may notice that your urinary stream is stronger right after surgery, but it may take awhile before you can urinate completely normally again. After the catheter is removed, urine will pass over the surgical wound on the prostate, and you may initially have some discomfort or feel a sense of urgency when you urinate. This problem will gradually lessen, and after a couple of months you should be able to urinate less frequently and more easily.
- Incontinence As the bladder returns to normal, you may have some temporary problems controlling urination, but long-term incontinence rarely occurs. Doctors find that the longer problems existed before surgery, the longer it takes for the bladder to regain its full function after the operation.
- Bleeding In the first few weeks after transurethral surgery, the scab inside the bladder may loosen, and blood may suddenly appear in the urine. Although this can be alarming, the bleeding usually stops with a short period of resting in bed and drinking fluids. However, if your urine is so red that it is difficult to see through or if it contains clots or if you feel any discomfort, be sure to contact your doctor.
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Whats The Link Between The Prostate And Constipation
First of all, it is important to understand what is happening in your bowel when you are constipated.
Stool is a waste product containing toxins and bacteria that should not be stored in the body. However, if you are constipated, this stool is building up inside you. The food begins to decay and rot and, as the bacteria multiply, this produces more and more toxins.
Your bowel is located right next to your prostate gland. This means that when there is an over-abundance of toxins in your bowel, these begin to leak into the surrounding tissues, directly impacting on your prostate gland.
The prostate gland is usually a very effective filter and manages to protect semen from substances that could potentially damage them. However, when an excessive amount of toxins are able to enter from the bowel, the prostate is put under too much stress and it struggles to keep these toxins at bay. An accumulation of toxins in the gland is like a poison, and the gland can quickly become inflamed and painful.
Additionally, if the bowel becomes packed with stool, this can put pressure on the prostate gland and may result in the typical obstructive symptoms of BPH , including weaker urine flow and dribbling at the end of urination. It can also make it difficult to fully empty the bladder.
What Procedures Or Tests Diagnose This Prostate Problem
A doctor or other health care professional usually can detect an enlarged prostate by rectal examination. A medical professionals may perform a rectal examination to ensure that there are no “nodules,” which are hard, irregular areas in the prostate suspicious for prostate cancer, as well as to assess the size of the prostate. Assessment of prostate size and shape is better assessed with an abdominal or transrectal ultrasound or cystoscopy. A cystoscope is a long, thin telescope-like instrument that has a light source and lens allowing one to look at the urethra, the prostate, and the bladder when inserted through the opening at the tip of the penis. Cystoscopy and/or ultrasound is recommended prior to surgical treatment of BPH. Other tests that medical professionals may perform include: bladder scanner postvoid residual determination and uroflowmetry . Lastly, a PSA is often obtained and if abnormal may require further evaluation to rule out prostate cancer.
The American Urological Association recommends that men with BPH complete the AUA-symptom index , which assesses the degree to which symptoms bother. It is a useful way to assess changes in bothersome symptoms with treatment.
Using Palliative Care To Ease Discomfort
For both urinary and bowel incontinence that is caused by compression of nerves in the spinal cord as a result of prostate cancer that has spread to the spine or bones, palliative treatments for metastasized cancer may be of use. These treatments include radiotherapy, medication, or surgical removal of spinal cord tumors. However, these treatment options are not indicated for every situation. Your doctor will help you determine what path is right for you and to improve your quality of life. As always, coping with quality of life symptoms like these can take a toll on an individual or their caretaker both mentally and physically. For this reason, it can be a good idea to consult a therapist or counselor if needed for extra support.
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Diagnosing An Enlarged Prostate
As with all incontinence conditions, a thorough diagnosis must be developed before action can be taken. You may have heard of some of these exams. And if you havent, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with them. Not only is knowledge power, but it also eliminates surprises.
Because those with BPH can experience symptoms from mild to severe, the treatment options featured here are organized from least invasive to more intense.
What Causes Bph At What Age Do Men Develop The Condition
Medical professionals do not have a good understanding of what causes an enlarged prostate.
BPH generally begins in a man’s 30s, evolves slowly, and most commonly only causes symptoms after 50.
In benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate gland grows in size. It may compress the urethra, which courses through the center of the prostate. This can impede the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. Lower urinary tract symptoms from BPH can be due to one of the factors: dynamic, static, and compensatory. Dynamic factors are related to the tone of the muscle surrounding the prostate and the outlet of the bladder whereas static factors are related to the enlargement of the prostate tissue. Dynamic and static symptoms are prostate-related symptoms. Compensatory factors are the result of changes that occur in the bladder as a result of the bladder working harder to push urine past the bladder neck and prostate.
Signs and symptoms of BPH include lower urinary tract symptoms of weak urine stream, difficulty starting the urine stream , straining to urinate, inability to completely empty the bladder, inability to urinate , blood in the urine , leakage of urine , decreased urine flow , and post-void dribbling of urine.
BPH may also be related to the development of bladder stones, recurrent urinary tract infections, and backup of urine in the kidneys .
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Did You Know About The Connection Between Your Bowel And Your Prostate
Constipation and the prostate are two things that don’t really seem to have much of a connection at all. However, this is not the case as constipation can have an influence on your prostate, sometimes even instigating an episode of BPH. In this blog, I take a look at how constipation can affect your prostate and what you can do to prevent this problem.
Dr. Jen Tan
Sexual Function After Surgery
Many men worry about whether surgery for BPH will affect their ability to enjoy sex. Some sources state that sexual function is rarely affected, while others claim that it can cause problems in up to 30 percent of cases. However, most doctors say that even though it takes awhile for sexual function to return fully, with time, most men are able to enjoy sex again.
Complete recovery of sexual function may take up to 1 year, lagging behind a persons general recovery. The exact length of time depends on how long after symptoms appeared that BPH surgery was done and on the type of surgery. Following is a summary of how surgery is likely to affect the following aspects of sexual function.
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Bowel Incontinence And Prostate Cancer Treatment
Just as the ways to develop urinary or bowel incontinence are numerous, so are their potential outcomes. In many instances, urinary or bowel incontinence after prostate cancer treatment resolves on its own, as an individual is recovering from the treatment. For example, after radiation therapy, an individual may lose control of their bladder, but this may resolve without any intervention within a few weeks or months. On the other side, there is a possibility that during treatment the nerves or muscles that control these processes can get damaged permanently, and the incontinence may not subside on its own. Before treatment, and even immediately after, its very hard to predict if youll have these issues, and for how long they may last.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Common Part Of Aging
It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia , or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH.
Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a mans life, the enlargement doesnt usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.
As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
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Living With Bowel Or Bladder Incontinence
There is no single, right way to cope with bladder or bowel incontinence. The challenge is to find what is best for your situation, so you can get the help you need and return to a normal daily life. Talk with your health care team if you notice a change in bowel or bladder habits, and about the best ways to manage incontinence, if it is a problem. You might find it helpful to talk with other people who are dealing with incontinence, too. Ask a member of your cancer care team about support groups in your area.
Here are some things you can do that may help make incontinence less of a problem:
- Empty your bladder every 3 to 4 hours while awake, to avoid accidents.
- Empty your bladder before bedtime or before strenuous activity.
- Limit drinks with caffeine, or and avoid alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder and make you have to go more often.
- Avoid hygiene products that may irritate you Women should avoid feminine spray or over-the-counter vaginal suppositories.
- Because belly fat can push on the bladder, avoiding weight gain or losing needed weight sometimes helps improve bladder control.
- Avoid tobacco use which can cause coughing and bladder irritation due to harmful substances in tobacco products.
- Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking. Some may affect urine control.