Men's Pelvic Floor and Continence Physiotherapy
Problems relating to the pelvic floor do not only affect women. 1 in 10 men will experience continence or pelvic floor problems during their lifetime and up to 70% of men suffer from urinary incontinence following prostatectomy surgery. Men’s continence and pelvic floor issues can present at any life stage, however, more commonly occur in older age or following pelvic surgery and can affect different men in different ways. Our goal is to provide specialist and up-to-date management through our men’s health physiotherapy service.
We've listed some of the conditions we commonly see. We've also included links to some online resources you may find helpful if you are seeking treatment for a specific problem.
Overactive bladder or urge incontinence - a sudden and intense desire to urinate which may come on without reason or during circumstances such as hearing running water or putting a key in the front door. Many men may have been told that this is due to an ‘enlarged prostate’ – if this is you, please see the section below ‘Physiotherapy for Prostate Problems’, or call to make an appointment as there may be more that you can do to help.
Stress urinary incontinence - leakage of urine with activities such as sneezing, coughing, running, and jumping.
Post-micturition Dribble – the loss of a small volume of urine after emptying your bladder possibly due to the urethra not emptying completely.
Bowel dysfunction - difficulties with constipation, emptying bowels, faecal urgency/leakage and difficulty controlling wind.
Pelvic pain - this may be superficial pain or deep pelvic pain around the scrotum. This includes pain related to sexual intercourse.
Erectile Dysfunction – difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection. Common with a variety of medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and lifestyle concerns, alongside being a common outcome from prostate-related surgeries.
Coccyx (tailbone) pain
Prostate problems - please see more information below
We work closely with GPs, specialists and surgeons in the management of our clients. It is important that you seek medical advice through your GP prior to a physiotherapy consultation if you are experiencing any of the following: pain with emptying your bladder, sudden increase or change in urinary urgency, difficulty starting the stream, needing to push to start the stream, blood in the urine or waking up more than twice overnight.
It is also important to seek medical advice if you have had a change in your bowel habits/function.
Physiotherapy for Prostate Problems or Surgery
Sourced from Cancer Australia, in 2016, prostate cancer was the most diagnosed cancer in Australia and the most diagnosed cancer among males – a trend that has been expected to continue through the next decade.
As per the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Clinical Practice Guidelines, Men should also be offered testing for prostate cancer every 2 years from 50-69 years of age, however screening should start younger – from 45 years – if the man’s father or 1 brother has prostate cancer – or from 40 years – if the man’s father and multiple brothers have prostate cancer.
There are many conditions, cancerous and non-cancerous, affecting the prostate that can have an impact on continence and pelvic floor function. These conditions can vary in symptoms and vary between men.
Some of the conditions we commonly see include:
Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)1 – as men age beyond 45-50 years the prostate naturally enlarges. If severe, this can cause obstruction or blockage to the urethra and flow of urine. This may cause difficulty holding an urge, starting the stream, or emptying the bladder completely. In some cases, this may be exacerbated by poor bladder habits or pelvic floor dysfunction in which a Men’s Health Physiotherapist can assist. If required a urologist may recommend surgery to assist. Some common surgeries we see include:
Laser resection of the prostate (through the urethra)
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate or TURP (through the urethra)
Studies have shown that those a history of prostate surgery are twice as likely to develop urinary incontinence compared to those without.2
We recommend booking to see our Men’s Health Physiotherapists to assist with early intervention and preventing/managing any postoperative ongoing continence concerns.
Prostate Cancer Surgery – after consulting with a urologist, and if needed an oncologist, it may be decided that the prostate needs to be removed. Some common surgeries we see for prostate cancer include:
Open Radical Prostatectomy (making an incision through the abdomen)
Robotic-assisted Radical Prostatectomy or Keyhole Radical Prostatectomy
Studies have shown that those with a history of radical prostate surgery (removal of the entire prostate gland) are four times more likely to develop urinary incontinence compared to those without.2 Erectile Dysfunction is also a very common outcome.2
Our Men’s Health Physiotherapists recommend 1-2 sessions prior to these surgeries for education, pelvic floor training and optimisation, and regular review following these surgeries as required for longer term continence and pelvic floor rehabilitation.
If you would like to seek treatment for any of the conditions listed above, please call the clinic and ask to book a Men’s Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Consultation. Alternatively, you can click on the ‘Book Online’ button above to book a consultation with one of our Men’s Health Physiotherapists online.
Some helpful links...
Continence Foundation of Australia
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia
Healthy Male - Andrology Australia
Pelvic Floor Exercise