So the surgery is behind you.
Everything’s gone as well as could be expected.
You’re still having problems controlling your bladder.
You knew this would be a temporary issue but maybe you’re starting to worry it’s gone on longer than it’s supposed to. You don’t feel confident leaving the house for very long in case you’re caught short.
You’re also, quite frankly, sick and tired of relying on those pads all day and night. But you know you’re leaking and so you feel you can’t do without them either.
You thought you’d be better sooner but instead incontinence has you feeling really embarrassed and a bit helpless after your surgery. Progress seems to be slow-going or non-existent and you’re worried.
You can’t help but ask yourself:
How long is this post-surgery incontinence supposed to last?
Is there anything I can do to regain control sooner?
Where can I get help with this?
When will things be back to normal in the bathroom and bedroom departments?
In short: When do I get my life back?
In this post, our pelvic health specialist, Alison Middleton shares advice on how physiotherapy can help with incontinence after prostate surgery.
Read on to learn about:
Why incontinence is a common side-effect of prostate surgery
How strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help you regain control
The free, trusted and science-backed resources you need during rehab
Why am I incontinent after prostate surgery?
Incontinence occurs after your surgery because of the effect the surgery has both your pelvic floor muscles and the nerves that tell those muscles what to do. After surgery the pelvic floor muscles are weak, which leads to Incontinence. Having strong pelvic floor muscles means you can control your bladder much more easily
Prostate surgery often results in erectile dysfunction or impotence for the same reason.
The good news? These symptoms can be helped over time.
What can I do about it?
In the short-term, wearing a protective pad helps to absorb any leakage. But of course that doesn’t solve the root problem and you don’t want to be reliant on pads forever if you can help it.
What’s really important is to build strength in your pelvic floor as soon as it’s safe to do so. This requires some training.
How can physiotherapy help with incontinence after prostate surgery?
A specialist pelvic health physiotherapist can help you to build strength in your pelvic floor by teaching you how and when to contract your pelvic floor muscles.
They will give you a strengthening programme with regular reviews and progressions to ensure your programme is exactly right for you throughout your retraining period.
As your pelvic floor becomes stronger, your physio can guide you back to your regular daily activities, reducing your reliance on pads and other continence products so that you can get your life back.
For lasting results, they can establish a long-term management programme for you too.
Where can I find advice about prostate surgery and incontinence online?
As an evidence-based health practice, we always advise our clients to use trusted, science-backed resources.
Our first recommendation is thepogp.co.uk - this link will take you directly to the dedicated Prostate page of the Pelvic Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy site. Here you will find reliable information, helpful explanations and great tips.
We also recommend prostatecanceruk.org, a brilliant initiative aiming to raise awareness of the disease that 1 in every 8 UK men will be diagnosed with in their lifetime. Their website is packed full of illuminating information, realistic and actionable advice and free downloadable publications.
If you’d like to talk to our pelvic health specialist, Alison Middleton about your specific challenges and regain some control, you can book an appointment online at icpcHealth.com or on 01467 633 444.