Frequently asked questions about Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy for Men
Problems may arise, largely due to the design of the prostate. This walnut sized gland sits at the base of the bladder, in front of the rectum and behind the penis. The prostate is responsible for secreting a slightly alkaline, milky fluid that makes up about 30% of the semen. Below the bladder and above the prostate lies an internal urinary sphincter and below the prostate lies an external urinary sphincter. These sphincters help control fluids leaving the body through the penis. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder, travels through the center of the prostate and through to the penis.
When the prostate enlarges, it may compress the urethra causing you to have urinary issues such as hesitancy, frequency, etc. When the prostate is removed, the internal urinary sphincter is often damaged leading to urine emptying through the urethra when you don’t want it to. Radiation can often irritate the surrounding tissues and cause urinary frequency.
Why does the internal urinary sphincter become damaged when the issue is with the prostate? The close proximity of this sphincter, between the bladder and the prostate makes it very difficult to visualize during surgery so often it is either damaged or removed. The internal urinary sphincter is made up of smooth muscle and is under autonomic control.
This means that it is doing its job without you knowing or actively participating. When this sphincter is either removed or damaged, it no longer prevents urine leaving the body automatically and leaking may occur. Now the responsibility must fall on the external urinary sphincter. This sphincter is made up of skeletal muscle and is under your voluntary control. This is the sphincter that you will learn how to improve the control of. Pelvic floor physiotherapy will help you retrain your pelvic floor muscles to gain more control with your bladder.