Most blokes don’t give birth, so historically we may have perceived that we have not had the need, resources or inclination to discuss any leakage of urine. So, when we get a bit of a dribble now and then , we say “I’ll wear dark pants and shake it a few more times” or “get it all out after a couple of beers or just go onto spirits or start putting on a bet every time I need a wee so my mates don’t notice” .
When you’re up 3 or 4 times overnight, and you say “it will be all right and just part of getting older” or “I’ll let go of a few drops before I orgasm….but maybe I just won’t have sex” ………Absolutely none of these symptoms are part of normal bladder function and can actually be treated!
So, you don’t have to start shaking it like Beyoncé, start gambling, get less sleep or give up sex!! Here is why:
Post micturition dribble is very common. A small amount of urine collects in the ‘S’ bend or urethra (see picture) and when we finish weeing some of our muscles don’t contract as they normally would, causing the bladder to not empty completely. A push up on the fleshy bit between your testicles and your bottom can often get rid of it. It also helps to make sure you pee when the bladder is full, or you can try sitting down to wee.
2) Out – all out!
After a couple of beers, you’re running to and from the toilet like a ‘yo-yo’. Alcohol irritates the bladder and can cause some urgency to go to the toilet. It can also cause you to go to the toilet overnight more and in some cases cause leakage. It doesn’t mean don’t go to the pub….. but it does mean that you might have to drink some water between beers to dilute the alcohol. This will make you pass more volume but have less urgency. Ensure you have some food with your drinks and spacing each drink further apart can help. Limiting alcohol in the 3 hours before sleep may be helpful.
3) A few drops before I orgasm.
Leaking urine prior to orgasm, although very confronting, can be common after prostate surgery where the muscles have been altered. Try peeing before sex, putting a towel down on the bed, using a condom or having sex in the shower so the water washes it away. Pelvic Floor Muscle exercises may be effective also in some cases.
4) Getting up overnight to pee 3 or 4 times?
As we get older, we produce less anti-diuretic hormone which helps to concentrate our urine overnight. This means as we age, we produce more urine overnight. However, if you’re getting up to pee more than 1 -2 times…. that’s not normal and can be a sign of numerous issues. Try getting more fluid earlier in the day, so you don’t need as much in the 2 hours before you go to bed, and this includes avoiding coffee and alcohol at this time of the day.
5) The Golden Rule
As a golden rule a yearly health check with the GP after 40 to look at your heart, kidneys, prostate and lungs is a good idea! To quote one of the old clichés, “its just the yearly service for the body like you would the car”…. and often results in a lot cheaper and time efficient outcome than ignoring it!
Being a bloke is complex, it’s more than pies, footy and taking the piss out of your mates. Its about being true to yourself and the people you care about, enabling yourself to be in position to care, provide, and enjoy these people. This means being honest with yourself and your needs, talking to healthcare professionals and helping yourself help you. The Victorian Continence Resource Centre has a male Nurse Continence Specialist to help you with your needs. Don’t hold back any longer. Get in touch today!
Article by Sam Gebert – Nurse Continence Specialist
Sam Gebert is a Nurse Continence Specialist at the Continence Foundation of Australia Victorian Branch – Victorian Continence Resource Centre. Sam is a passionate advocate of men’s health, with a speciality in men’s continence and sexual health. He joins us after working at Movember in the Prostate Cancer program of TrueNTH where he care-coordinated an Australia wide telehealth program.
To find your nearest service, or for more information you can call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066.