Late onset incontinence

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 3/25/2011 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I hate to bring this up, since most of us are taught that once continence is reached, it remains. I was fully continent from the time the catherer was removed, 18 months ago, except for maybe a drop or two when doing heavy exertion. But the other day I had an unusual single incident of significant incontinence in the evening, when I was just sitting around, and had to change pants. I have no idea what caused it, and since then that has not repeated. But it was enough to make me wonder if one ever goes incontinent after being continent.

I found the following 2005 paper, "Late-onset incontinence in a cohort of radical prostatectomy patients," in which 235 patients, continent 2 years after their prostatectomy, were followed for a median of 100 months. Of those, 209 (89%) remained continent, but 26 (11%) had some degree of incontinence return. The paper concludes "The cause is likely to be related to ageing."

So, the good news is that the risk of incontinence returning is small, though not zero. The bad news is that the cause, getting old, is not something we can do much about.

Back to the incident I had, have any of you who have been continent for at least a year had similar incidents?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1244
   Posted 3/25/2011 8:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Yep, at about 18 months I began to notice a dribble after urination that had not occured before.   First time I noticed it I was walking down the hall at work and reached in my pocket for my cell phone ... the pocket was wet, and so was the front of my slacks.  I'm very careful now to make sure everything is drained.  Seems to happen more often if I've been standing for a while.
I'm 23 months out now and the dribbling has not gotten worse.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7187
   Posted 3/25/2011 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Actually, I still consider myself 100% continent, starting maybe 2 months after surgery (probably earlier than that).
BUT, every once in awhile, after urinating, a minute or 2 later, I release a few more drops. Sometimes, usually, I can sense it in advance and I go back to the bathroom and finish the job.
I guess, technically, maybe this is 99.5% continent, although I can control it. Mentally, it is 100% continent because it doesn't disturb me in any way.
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