Physiotherapy management of incontinence in men

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Abstract

Urinary and faecal incontinence are not usually at the forefront of physiotherapists' minds on graduation; they are conditions that society still reacts to with silence or stigma. These conditions do not seem to have a significant place outside women's health in physiotherapy practice and then mainly after pregnancy. As incontinence is often considered a women's health issue, incontinence in men has been greatly neglected. Urinary incontinence (UI), defined as ‘the complaint of involuntary loss of urine’,1 is a common condition in adults, with considerable health consequences. Faecal incontinence (FI) also has significant health consequences. The International Continence Society definition of anorectal incontinence is ‘the complaint of involuntary loss of flatus or faeces’, which allows for a range of symptoms from loss of wind to solid faeces.1 In recent years, partly due to the increase in lifespan and to improvements in survivorship with prostate cancer treatments, male UI and FI have become an area of importance to physiotherapists. UI has a significant impact on men, both physically and psychosocially, and it can dramatically affect their quality of life. This review summarises: the prevalence and burden of male UI and FI; the male continence mechanism; how the cause of continence differs between males and females; how the consequences of treating prostate cancer impact continence; how male incontinence is managed using the latest evidence; and future directions for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

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