Urinary incontinence

A common side effect of prostate cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. treatment - surgery, EBRT, brachytherapyA type of radiotherapy where radioactive pellets or wires are inserted into the tumour. and TURP An abbreviation for transurethral resection of the prostate, a procedure to shave away some of an enlarged prostate. This eases the pressure from the prostate on the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.- is urinary incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces.. This is usually temporary, but in a small number of cases, it can be permanent. Many people lead full lives despite this, with a little forward planning.

You should always be advised of the risks of urinary incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces. before having any treatment, and if you do have problems, there are specialists who can help.

There are different types of urinary incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces.:

  • Stress incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces. is when leakage occurs when laughing, sneezing, coughing or during exercise, including sex. This happens when a sphincter at the base of the bladderThe organ that stores urine. is damaged, for example during surgery, especially radical prostatectomyThe surgical removal of the entire prostate gland.;
  • Overflow incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces. can also happen after surgery. This is when the bladderThe organ that stores urine. pressure increases because blockage has caused the bladderThe organ that stores urine. to overfill.

Pelvic floor exercises, similar to those recommended for women during and after pregnancy, strengthen the muscles that support the bladderThe organ that stores urine. and help you regain control. Ask your doctor for a referral to a physiotherapistA healh professional who specialises in physical therapies, such as exercise, massage and manipulation. who can teach you to do these effectively.

Medication that relaxes the bladderThe organ that stores urine. can also help. Surgical procedures, including injecting bulking agents into the bladderThe organ that stores urine. neck tissue or creating an artificial urinary sphincter, are sometimes recommended.