Life Impact of Male Urinary Incontinence

Definition of Quality Of Life Impact of Male Urinary Incontinence

Quality of life could be defined as the level of health and comfort in the lives of human beings as they would have experienced it, most relevantly being a positive impact on life. It should not be related to social isolation or disconnection from friends, and family members as that negatively influence ones health (Mallah et al., 2014).

It is mostly said to come with age since aging is a natural risk factor for urinary incontinence in both males and females. Therefore, it is considered a physical and psychological impediment in enjoying the good times and hence is not talked about openly (Pizzol et al., 2020). It is considered a shame as it is deemed to produce negative outcomes. This negativity imposes adverse life consequences on psychological health, such as depression, anxiety, social segregation, and a decrease in overall life happenings.

Urinary incontinence is also said to impose restricted lifestyles on mens daily lives as they feel it to be a social problem. They feel that it does not let them be positively on their own in front of others; the recurrent need to visit the washroom in the presence of others naturally calls for others attention towards them, leading to shame and rejection. It also causes further problems in employment and life at home, especially with spouses and children.

The Causes/ Risks on Quality Of Life on Men with Urinary Incontinence

Age is one of the prominent risk factors that impact male urinary incontinence. Regardless of the fact women face more problems regarding urinary incontinence in either middle or old age, men are reported to have more severe impacts on their psychological wellbeing and overall quality of life when they suffer from this physical trouble (Teunissen et al., 2006).

However, quality of life is taken as a multi-dimensional construct of life that could be measured along the lines of physical health, mental health, and even social and emotional wellbeing of individuals globally. These are the self-perceptions by the affected individuals related to a consensus on the best form of life quality that they would have experienced, particularly when they had suffered from urinary incontinence. Specifically for men, they are found to be out of control when experiencing urinary incontinence compared to women who prefer taking precautions when the problem is faced.

Diabetes is another risk or causal factor for urinary incontinence, but data is available on how this problem impacts mens quality of life. Since the problem is highly prevalent in females and they have sought help, males find it hard to mention this problem to a physician and ask for treatment.

Males who have diabetes choose to keep the problem to themselves as they think they are better off to have learned to live with it (Northwood et al., 2021). For this reason, they opt to buy precautionary undergarments in bulk quantities when they think they might not have enough time to make it to the bathroom.

Heart stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) have been associated with male urinary incontinence, resulting in low quality of life (Alshammari et al., 2020). There is a strong association between heart problems and urinary incontinence in men, especially in old age when heart problems visibly affect ones physical health. Physical discomfort and complications start arising in social life and their relationships as old age are already subjected to loneliness.

Limited data has been found regarding males quality of life is affected by urinary incontinence after stroke. However, studies suggest that nursing intervention and carefully strategized care management for urinary incontinence, and related stroke symptoms have shown better results (Thomas et al., 2008).

Comorbidities, obesity, and poor health are risk factors that could affect urinary incontinence and result in poor quality of life among men. A study discovered that obese men with high body mass index (BMI) and radical prostatectomy (RP) may sometimes lower signs of urinary incontinence, which contradicts previous studies that stated the opposite. Older research has mentioned that urinary incontinence has been highly associated with obesity in men, causing it to worsen as their body weight rises and worsens their quality of life since physical movement is also limited with obesity.

Memory problems, psychological illnesses, and epilepsy are among the chief risk factors that lead to severe urinary incontinence in men and lower quality of life. The involuntary loss of urine and not knowing whether the person has urinated recently since he has no control over his body organs, like the urinary bladder, leads to repetitive visits to the restroom. When it happens in the presence of other people, it constantly puts bothersome thoughts on the minds of psychologically troubled people.

Moreover, memory problems have been majorly found in people aged above 55 to 60 years, which could be witnessed in diseases like dementia and Alzheimers. With urinary incontinence, the quality of life is extremely poor (Juliebo-Jones et al., 2021). It has been inspected that people with dementia felt that their memory problem made them more anxious about their bladder.

It was thoroughly socially embarrassing for them not to remember if they had gone to the washroom or had urinated earlier. Daily disruptive activities were also faced, such as loss of sleep due to stress, inability to go out, and lesser community relationships, increasing social isolation and lower quality of life.

Also, it was intriguing to know that such people had less awareness about bowel and bladder incontinence, and relevant family and friends care was even lesser than expected as people did not know how to deal with this problem, both withstanding memory physical disabilities. It is an overall distressing experience since they had to undergo both physical and psychological problems.

How to Evaluate the Quality Of Life Impact on Men with Urinary Incontinence

Again, the research data for quality of life in men suffering from urinary incontinence is insufficient. Hence, help is taken from studies that incorporate self-reported quality of life suffering from urinary incontinence. As females have been more open to having mentioned this problem to their physicians and seeking treatment, the studies encompassing female patients would be taken as a benchmark for measuring the same quality of life affected by male urinary incontinence. It would be easier to use the same measures and tools for evaluating the quality of life after urinary incontinence has influenced male health and wellbeing.

The incontinence quality of life (I-QoL) questionnaire is the most effective data collection and evaluation survey tool, providing consistency and validity in the results (Chen et al., 2014). It has become imperative to have health-related monitoring of the quality of life since it assists better in devising the medical intervention for the diagnosed problem. For this purpose, it is mandatory to identify the correct instrument for collecting health-related data, for which I-QoL has been acclaimed suitably well.

I-QoL was developed by Wagner and Patrick that has been only used to measure the quality of life for people suffering from urinary incontinence. It encompasses 22 items with five-0poiunt ordinal scaling for the participants to record their responses. The subscales included in the 22 items are psychological impacts, avoiding and limitations in behavior, and social embarrassment, which could be feasibly used for male urinary incontinence attitudes for their wellbeing. The evaluation is finally done by adding the unweighted items scores and then changing to a 100 point scale for detecting whether the quality of life rating is severe (rating 0) or is a no problem at all (rating 100).

Discussion of Studies on the Quality Of Life Impact on Men with Urinary Incontinence

Studies have probed into the qulity of life and its lowering levels among men who have been suffering from urinary incontinence. One of the research papers investigated the additional effect of urinary incontinence among males and females suffering from depression. The self-reported survey results revealed that men and women who were already depressed about their physical complications due to urinary incontinence were significantly depressed due to this problem.

There are biochemical changes that happen when people suffer from depression, and with the prevalence of incontinence, the mood is lowered even to a serious level. The psychological changes and physical difficulties add up to the urine frequency and hyperactive bladder condition, even worsening the urinary incontinence in both genders. However, it is more complicated among men because they do not seek medical help due to masculinity or social stigma hindrances (Staiger et al., 2020).

Another study indicated that urinary incontinence is more severe among males than in females since men have to go outside their homes for employment. At the same time, women stay at home (Corrado et al., 2020). Males have to face extreme psychological impacts for fear of having leaked their urine in front of others, costing their job at some point in time. Their self-motivation and determination are badly hurt, leading to low quality of life.


Alshammari, S., Alyahya, M. A., Allhidan, R. S., Assiry, G. A., AlMuzini, H. R., & AlSalman, M. A. (2020). Effect of urinary incontinence on the quality of life of older adults in Riyadh: Medical and sociocultural perspectives.Cureus,12(11), e11599.

Chen, G., Tan, J.T., Ng, K., Lezzi, A. & Richardson, J. (2014). Mapping of incontinence quality of life (I-QoL) scores to assessment of quality of life 8D (AQoL-8D) utilities in patients with idiopathic overactive bladder. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 12.

Corrado, B., Giardulli, B., Polito, F., Aprea, S., Lanzano, M. & Dodaro, C. (2020). The impact of urinary incontinence on quality of life: A cross-sectional study in the metropolitan city of Naples. Geriatrics, 5(95).

Juliebo-Jones, P., Coulthard, E., Mallam, E., Archer, H. & Drake, M.J. (2021). Understanding the impact of urinary incontinence in person with dementia: Development of an interdisciplinary service model. Advances in Urology, 2021.

Mallah, F., Montazeri, A., Ghanbari, Z., Tavoli, A., Haghollahi, F., & Aziminekoo, E. (2014). Effect of urinary incontinence on quality of life among Iranian women.Journal of Family & Reproductive Health,8(1), 1319.

Northwood, M., Ploeg, J., Markle-Reid, M. & Sherifali, D. (2021). The complexity of living with diabetes and urinary incontinence for older adults with multiple chronic conditions receiving home care services: An interpretive description study. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 8.

Pizzol, D., Demurtas, J., Celatto, S., Maggi, S., Smith, L., Angiolelli, G., Trott, M., Yang, L. & Veronese, N. (2020). Urinary incontinence and quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 33, 25-35.

Staiger, T., Stiawa, M., Mueller-Stierlin, A.S., Kilian, R., Beschoner, P., Gundel, H., Becker, T., Frasch, K., Panzirsch, M., Schmaub, M. & Krumm, S. (2020). Masculinity and help-seeking among men with depression; A qualitative study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11.

Teunissen, D., Bosch, W.V.D., Weel, C.V. & Lagro-Janssen, T. (2006). It can always happen: The impact of urinary incontinence on elderly men and women. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 24(3), 166-173.

Thomas, L. H., Cross, S., Barrett, J., French, B., Leathley, M., Sutton, C. J., & Watkins, C. (2008). Treatment of urinary incontinence after stroke in adults.The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,2008(1).

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