Overflow Incontinence

Written by Norene Anderson
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Overflow incontinence is one incontinence problem that is more common in men than women. Older men with an enlarged prostate experience this problem more than other types of incontinence. The symptoms of this condition include dribbles of urine after voiding and the inability to void in spite of the urge. This results in small amounts of urine leaking because the bladder never completely empties.

There are several conditions that can lead to overflow incontinence. In addition to an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), a neurogenic bladder can result in this type of incontinence. This is a condition where there is damage or obstruction of the sacral nerves creating a loss of sensation in the bladder to recognize the need to urinate. This could be congenital or from spinal surgery.

Possible Causes of Overflow Incontinence

Another condition that may cause overflow incontinence is the blockage of the urethra by stones or tumors. There are several diagnostic procedures that can be utilized to find the source of the condition. Initially, there will be a thorough medical history and physical examination. Then the appropriate tests will be ordered to determine the treatment most likely to alleviate or improve the condition.

Some of the tests that may be considered include a PSA test for identifying the potential for prostate involvement. Blood samples may be drawn to check for diabetes or electrolyte imbalance. Urine samples may be checked for bleeding or infection. An ultrasound of the prostate may be indicated. Cystoscopy is an exam allowing the urologist to view the bladder and urethra through a tiny camera inserted through the urethra. Many options are available to determine the root cause and best treatment for urinary incontinence.


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