5 Types of Incontinence in the Male Pelvic Floor

By Dr. Zarina Vitebsky, DPT, MSPT, PRPC, TPS, LPF, DN on 9/20/2023


Men can experience different types of urinary incontinence.

  1. Stress Incontinence

  2. Urge Incontinence

  3. Functional Incontinence

  4. Mixed Incontinence

  5. Iatrogenic Incontinence

We can explore a couple of these categories below.

The most common cause of urinary incontinence in men is iatrogenic, which means it is caused by medical intervention. Radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the entire prostate gland to eradicate the presence of cancerous cells. Up to 20% of people undergoing a radical prostatectomy experience stress urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence can be involuntary leakage with laughing, coughing, lifting, jumping, pushing, pulling- anything that can involve exertion. It is well researched that the first line of treatment for postoperative urinary incontinence is physical therapy, especially pelvic physical therapy to rehabilitate the muscles of urination.

Prevalence of urinary incontinence in men also increases with age, with studies showing rates increasing to 9% to 34%. Incontinence can worsen with age due to multiple factors including physical/ cognitive impairments. Functional urinary incontinence is the inability to make it to the toilet in time due to a functional impairment. This impairment can include difficulty walking, difficulty undressing, loss of balance when turning or transferring to the toilet, and more. Also, as men age, the prostate gland, located inferior to the bladder, can cause stress of the urethra. Stress on the urethra can cause difficulty with bladder emptying in the male pelvic floor.

The aforementioned examples of stress urinary incontinence and functional urinary incontinence in men are just a glimpse into different ways men can experience involuntary leakage. Pelvic floor physical is often thought to be a practice reserved for people with vaginal canals or with a history of birthing. However, male pelvic floor therapy is advancing and should be sought out as a treatment option. Here at Pelvic Health, all three of our physical therapists are certified to treat the male pelvic floor. Urinary dysfunction for all genders can be stressful on the person, on relationships, on social outings, and when engaging in recreational exercise. As one invests in mitigating the frequency and severity of urinary dysfunction, it behooves one to ensure that the provider is competent in the examination, assessment, and treatment of the male pelvic floor.

If you’re experiencing pelvic floor dysfunctions associated with the issues above, please reach out to us at Pelvic Health Center in Madison, NJ to set up an evaluation and treatment! Feel free to call us at 908-443-9880 or email us at

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