One Symptom, Many Causes

There are many conditions that may result in bladder leakage including:

When any of the anatomy that perform a role in the urinary process are tampered with or affected by other variables, the chances of developing stress urinary incontinence may increase.

Occasional leaks, wet pants, and a frequent or sudden need to urinate can happen at any age. Bladder leakage in men is usually caused by a damaged sphincter muscle or improperly functioning bladder (the sphincter is the circular muscle that controls urine flow out of the bladder).

Short-term bladder leakage can also result from some medications or urinary tract infections. Incontinence due to nerve or muscle damage may cause longer-term leakage.1 Whatever the reason, incontinence can affect your self-image and your ability to enjoy life. If you have adjusted your life due to urine leakage, you may want to work with a urologist who specialises in bladder control.

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Causes and symptoms of stress urinary incontinence

Other Causes of Incontinence

Incontinence can also be a consequence of other circumstances that may result in bladder leakage such as:

  • The development of neurologic disorders7,9,12 
  • Pelvic trauma7,9,12

These conditions can also damage or prevent the sphincter muscles from working properly to hold urine in the bladder resulting in urinary incontinence.

Enlarged Prostate Surgery

Some degree of bladder leakage may occur after treatment of an enlarged prostate gland (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).8

The prostate gland sits just below the bladder and wraps around the urethra. As you age, your prostate gland may start to grow and may eventually squeeze or partially block urine flow.

One common treatment for BPH is a TURP, the transurethral resection of the prostate, which removes a part of your prostate gland to make room for urine flow. While most men regain bladder control months after the TURP procedure, up to 3% of men find that they dribble, leak or can’t hold their urine.9 Other BPH treatment options range from behaviour modification and watchful waiting to medications and minimally invasive procedures.

Learn More about BPH

Pelvic Trauma

Pelvic trauma in men can be the result of a car accident, fall and/or straddle injuries (injuries to the area between the legs). When trauma impacts the urethra, the damage can lead to bladder leakage. This type of trauma can range in its severity and some injuries can require immediate or delayed urinary reconstruction. For more severe injuries, some men continue to have bladder control problems.10 Pelvic trauma can also damage the nerves that run alongside the urethra, which can lead to erectile dysfunction (ED).11

Learn More about ED


Talk to a Urologist about treatment options

Take the Quiz

Take our quiz to identify if you are experiencing urinary incontinence symptoms and help kick-start the conversation with your doctor.

Questions to Ask

Helpful hints on how to start the conversation with your GP or urologist, and other useful resources.


  1. Mayo Clinic. Urinary incontinence in men. June 2014. Accessed September 13, 2016.
  2. Prostate Cancer Statistics. (2015, December 17). Retrieved from
  3. Radical prostatectomy hospital admissions 40 years and over. (2015). Australian Atlas of Healthcare,129-134. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  4. Hoyland, K., Vasdev, N., Abrof, A., & Boustead, G. (2014). Post-radical prostatectomy incontinence: etiology and prevention. Reviews in urology, 16(4), 181–188.
  5. Ficarra V, Novara G, Rosen RC, et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting urinary continence recovery after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep;62(3):405-17.
  6. Prostate Cancer: Urinary Incontinence. WebMD Website. Accessed September 13, 2016.
  7. Chung, E., Katz, D. J., & Love, C. (2017). Adult male stress and urge urinary incontinence – A review of pathophysiology and treatment strategies for voiding dysfunction in men. Australian Family Physician, 46(9), 661–666.
  8. About Incontinence—Contributing Factors—Prostate Problems in Men. The Simon Foundation for Continence. Accessed September 13, 2016.
  9. Sandhu JS. Treatment options for male stress urinary incontinence. Nat Rev Urol. 2010 Apr;7(4):222-8.3.
  10. Herschorn S, Bruschini H, Comiter C, et al. Surgical treatment of stress incontinence in men. Neurourol Urodyn. 2010;29(1):179-90.
  11. Kotkin L, Koch MO. Impotence and incontinence after immediate realignment of posterior urethral trauma: result of injury or management? J Urol. 1996 May;155(5):1600-3.
  12. Data on file with Boston Scientific. Based on market research by Dymedex

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