Many men after prostate surgery will have a problem of urinary incontinence. The good news is that it is usually temporary and lasts only a few days or weeks. However, after prostate cancer surgery, the incontinence may be worse and last for a longer period of time. Help is available. Men can use Kegel exercises, which are the same exercises, that women use who have a problem of losing urine.
About 30 percent of prostate cancer patients nationally are affected by incontinence a year after surgery, and another 14 percent still feel the effects after five years.
Urinary incontinence has been shown to cause significant distress in men following prostate cancer treatments. Men become reclusive and even depressed if they have incontinence. Men are afraid to travel or attend other social gatherings because there may not be a restroom nearby.
A study from the Cleveland clinic detailed results from 244 men randomly assigned to one of three approaches to reduce leakage and manage symptoms.
The first two approaches offered the men one session of biofeedback-assisted pelvic exercises and six biweekly sessions—either in a peer support group or by phone—to learn how to self-manage their symptoms. In the biofeedback sessions the men learned how to perform Kegel exercises.
In the third approach, men received information and a doctor’s directions for care or sought information on their own.
By the third month, the first two methods—biofeedback, plus support group or telephone contact—showed better results. The number of leakage episodes decreased.
At the last assessment at six months, the men receiving biofeedback and support recorded the greatest reduction in leakage amount.
For more information on Kegel exercises please go to my website, www.neilbaum.com or copy and paste this into your browser: http://neilbaum.com/articles/kegel-exercises-for-men-2
Bottom Line: urinary leakage can be depressing for both men and women. Help is available. Just remember, a Kegel a day can keep the doctor away!