The University of Arizona
Department of Surgery

Incontinence in Men

Stress incontinence is accidental urine leakage caused by coughing, sneezing or physically straining activity. It’s not a disease, but a symptom of a problem with the urinary tract.

Urine is stored in the urinary bladder. A tube called the urethra leads from the bladder through the prostate and penis to the outside of the body. As the urethra leaves the prostate, it passes through a ring of muscles called the urinary sphincter.

As the bladder fills, nerve signals tell the sphincter to stay squeezed shut while the bladder stays relaxed. When you urinate, nerve signals tell the muscles in the walls of the bladder to squeeze, forcing urine out of the bladder and into the urethra. At the same time, the bladder squeezes, the urethra relaxes, allowing urine to pass through the urethra and out of the body.

Men who have had prostate-related surgery may develop as a result of damage to muscle (the "urinary sphincter") that normally holds back urine.

Why Us? 

Our urologists have received advanced urological training for this condition and offer the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques
Because we are actively involved in laboratory and clinical research and integrating the latest research findings into practice, we offer patients a wider spectrum of the current and cutting-edge treatment options
We are a high-volume referral center that treats many patients with these conditions

Treatment Options 

Medications may be tried to help relax the bladder; however, they are rarely sufficient in effectively treating stress-related incontinence. Physical therapy called "kegal exercises" are taught to patients to help strengthen the sphincter muscle.
If these options fail to improve urine leakage, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatments include:

  • Implantation of an artificial urinary sphincter — a system of a cuff around the urethra, a pressure-regulating balloon in the abdomen and a pump in the scrotum that, when pumped, "deflates" the cuff and allows urine to flow.
  • Placement of a "male sling" beneath the skin between the scrotum and rectum; the sling compresses the urethra to block leakage.
  • Injecting material to add bulk to the existing urinary sphincter.

Patient Information