Frequently Asked Questions

About Male Urinary Incontinence

What is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control the outflow of urine from the bladder. This can occur during a variety of situations and for various reasons, but is commonly experienced during periods of exertion to the abdomen or “stress” such as lifting, coughing, laughing, and sneezing. This is referred to as stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

Urinary incontinence may also occur in people experiencing urinary urgency due to overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is a chronic condition of the bladder that causes a sudden and intense urge to urinate.

Why do men experience urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence has a multitude of risk factors and causes that will impact each individual differently. However, stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a common side effect of radical prostatectomy. The majority of patients will regain continence 8-12 months after surgery, however, approximately 15% will remain incontinent and require further treatment3.

What are my options?

There are multiple treatment options and aids available for managing male stress urinary incontinence and urge incontinence. Treatment options and aids range from absorbent pads, which simply absorb leakage of urine, to implantable prostheses, which are designed to provide a permanent, long term solution. View some of the available treatment options here.

When considering the various options available for managing urinary incontinence, the benefits and risks of each option should be considered in consultation with your specialist. Find your nearest specialist here.

What are the risks associated with surgical treatments?

Treatment of SUI with an implant requires surgical intervention and the implantation of a prosthetic device. As such, these treatments carry the medical risks associated with admission to a hospital for a surgical procedure.

It is important that the risks of these procedures are discussed with your specialist, and that the suitability of these treatments is considered in conjunction with your individual medical condition.

Will I be able to regain my incontinence?

Studies show that 80% of ATOMS devices are still functioning 6 years after the surgery. Patient satisfaction is high and quality of life significantly improved6. Read more about ATOMS here.

Are surgical treatments covered by health insurance?

Treatment with surgical implants such as the ATOMS and Macroplastique may be covered by private health insurance. Consultation with a specialist and admission to a private hospital may incur out-of-pocket expenses. In most cases, the cost of the implant will be covered by private health insurance; however, this will need to be discussed with your consulting specialist and with your health insurer.

Where do I start?

The first step is to find a specialist, who will most likely be a urologist. A urologist is a doctor who specialises in the study or treatment of the function and disorders of the urinary system.

Your specialist will design a plan of rehabilitation and assessment depending on your own condition and circumstances. Find a specialist near you to discuss your options.

Do I need a referral to see a specialist?

Yes. Before making an appointment with a specialist, please visit your GP to obtain a referral.


Do I have to stay in hospital overnight?

After the procedure, most patients can go home the same day, depending on the advice of their doctor. You may be able to resume normal activities or return to work shortly thereafter.

Will I be able to pass urine straight away?
You should experience immediate results without complications. If you have trouble passing urine within the first 24 hours, this usually resolves rapidly.
Will it be painful?

You may experience some discomfort or notice a little blood when you pass urine for up to 48 hours after the procedure. If the symptoms persist, consult with your doctor.


Can I have X-rays or an MRI scan?

Yes. The titanium port is not magnetic, which means that any type of medical imaging examination (X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound) can be carried out safely. However, please mention it to staff before any such examination.

What types of physical activity should I avoid?
It is advisable to refrain from doing sports such as horseback and bike riding, which place added pressure on the implant. You may be able to use a special bike seat, but this should be discussed with your specialist first. Apart from this, there are no other physical restrictions and you may be able to resume your usual lifestyle after the wounds have healed.
I really enjoy bike riding, any chance I can do it?

You may ask your doctor if it is suitable to ride a bike with a prostate-relief bike seat.

Are there any side effects?
ATOMS consists of components made of silicone and titanium, compatible with the body. However, as with any implant, there is the risk of infection. Should this occur, it is necessary to remove the system. More common side effects are perineal pain, which may continue for more than two weeks, and numbness or increased sensitivity around the scrotum and groin.

Urgent PC

What will I feel during Urgent PC treatment?

Patients may experience the sensation of Urgent PC therapy differently; however, most patients feel mild tingling where the needle electrode is inserted. Urgent PC offers many different levels of stimulation, so the specialist will be able to adjust the treatment as it progresses and address any discomfort.

How soon will I see results?
Immediate results vary from individual to individual, but studies show that results can be evident from the 7th treatment. However, it is important that the initial series of the recommended 12 treatments is completed before your specialist evaluates the effectiveness of the therapy. Individual patient expectations should be discussed with your specialist.
What are the risks associated with Urgent PC?

There is no conclusive list of risks associated with PTNS treatment, but some of the most common side-effects result from the placement of the needle electrode. They may include minor bleeding, mild pain and skin inflammation. In any case, studies show that the rate of side-effects is low.

Are there people who should not use Urgent PC?
  • Patients with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators
  • Patients prone to excessive bleeding
  • Patients with nerve damage that could impact either percutaneous tibial nerve or pelvic floor function
  • Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the duration of the treatment