Real Men Clench

male incontinence, Real Men Clench, Stirling Gravitas, Tena Men

The infamous Manneken Pis statue that can be found in Brussels, Belgium. Pic credit below.

When I received an email from TENA suggesting I do pelvic floor exercises to avoid incontinence, I thought it had been sent to me by mistake. This, I thought, was one of the side effects of giving birth and something us chaps generally avoided.

On reading the email a second time, however, I realised it was from TENA Men and it was indeed meant for me. It had been sent as part of its Real Men Clench campaign.

The email contained a link to a video featuring the outlandish character Stirling Gravitas. As Stirling goes about his business, he provides advice on how men can keep control of their bladder and avoid urine leakage. The overriding message is to clench those pelvic floor muscles, although more about that in a moment.

Incontinence is an issue I have given very little thought to. According to NHS Choices it becomes more common in men from middle age and from that point on, it becomes increasingly prevalent. Whereas women will discuss it as in issue, men tend not to as they fear it carries a major stigma. TENA Men’s real Men Clench campaign is trying to remove that stigma and get the issue out in the open.

Here are hints and tips about what us boys can do to avoid incontinence either now, or in later life;

  • Clench; This is the overriding theme of the campaign; clench those pelvic floor muscles every day. It can be done discreetly at any time and may help enormously.
  • Cut down on caffeine; Caffeine can stimulate the bladder so reduce your intake.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation; As with caffeine, alcohol can stimulate the bladder so cut back on the booze.
  • Hydrate; Drink sensible amounts of water. Apparently too little or too much can excaerbate the problem.
  • Ensure you lead a healthy lifestyle; Eating healthily, undertaking regular exercise and giving up cigarettes will all help reduce the likelihood of male incontinence.
  • Reduce your stress levels; Stress levels can increase your need to use the bathroom so do what you can to lead a calmer life.

I shall now leave you with Stirling’s video. I don’t usually find these things very amusing but on this occasion I will confess it made me chuckle. Enjoy!

Disclosure; This post was produced in association with TENA Men.

Pic credit; Martin Lopatka. Sourced from Flikr.com and reproduced under Creative Commons agreement 2.0.

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16 Comments

  1. Rachel - tenminutesspare
    May 8, 2015 / 7:12 am

    I always enjoy discovering new blogs. Looking forwards to having a read of more. Found this first article after you commented on Twitter about maybe adding it to #thelist. Well an important topic to be written about I think. Agree also that even though it’s not something ladies readily discuss there is much more likely for us to mention pelvic floor exercises in conversation than for men.

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 13, 2015 / 4:22 am

      Well the blog post has attracted a great number of comments so heopfully the conversation is now underway! Thanks for visiting and do come again!

  2. May 8, 2015 / 7:15 am

    Sorry hadn’t quite finished… So great to read a post that highlights the importance of these for men too.

  3. May 8, 2015 / 9:15 am

    Great to focus on the problems men face too. As you said its an open and commonly talked about subject with women so why not me? With better campaigns and advertising in place hopefully men will feel they can talk about their problems too #TheList

  4. May 9, 2015 / 6:10 am

    Apparently my male anatomy knowledge is worse than I realized. I didn’t realize you guys have pelvic floor muscles to clench.

    #bigfatlinky

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 13, 2015 / 4:20 am

      I knew we had muscles that performed the same task but no, I didn’t realise they were called pelvic floor muscles either!

  5. May 9, 2015 / 9:17 am

    Well I never! I’ve never heard of men having to do this before!

    After a week at work teaching 9-10 year olds about sex education it’s refreshing to get to the weekend and to learn new things about the male body on a Saturday morning,

  6. May 9, 2015 / 10:08 am

    Great post. My father had these issues so am quite aware of it. But before hand it didn’t make sense because I associated it with women. I do pretty much all on the list. Great post to highlight that men go through this. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there next week

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 13, 2015 / 4:17 am

      AH ha! My first comment from a self-confessed clencher. Great to know Martyn.

  7. May 9, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Male incontinence had never even crossed my mind until now, I’ve always assumed it would become harder as I age (what with the prostate and all that) but I guess I need to start clenching more 🙂

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 13, 2015 / 4:15 am

      Clench boy, clench…

  8. May 9, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    Wow. I really hadn’t considered this being an issue for men at all. Yes of course women, it’s a HUGE problem after childbirth. Especially for those women, like me who never managed to do the exercises due to premature birth. The meaning of the story, do them! Great post x #bigfatlinky

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 13, 2015 / 4:14 am

      Yeah, I thought it was a bit random at first but if it’s a problem for men…..well let’s get the world talking about it.

  9. May 15, 2015 / 5:58 am

    Wow, I had NO idea about any of this! Great post and important advice. Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

    • John Adams
      Author
      May 16, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Makes two of us, this was a whole new concept to me also.

  10. Steve
    October 3, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    Do you feel that what you eat and drink might affect incontinence? They do in me.

    I recorded together in one list things I ate and drank with the time of day, and quantity of urine and time of day.

    I wrote down in time order, and recorded any medicines too.
    I often experienced urgency, and recorded times to the nearest 15 minutes.
    I recorded on most days for six weeks.

    To approximate urine quantity, I counted when urinating – 1,2,3,4,…..
    (Counting can be a proxy for volume if counting speed is relatively consistent, and if my body urinates at a similar rate of outflow most times. Each individual count will not mean a lot, and there will be fluctuation in count speed anyway.)
    I worked out the time interval between the various drinks and foods and when I urinated to see any patterns related to types of foods.
    For several years my count was less than 10, (which takes about 8 seconds).
    At presently I average 14, sometimes 30.
    I have Urgency about twice a week, and very seldom Pain.
    Getting up in the night is now twice a week rather than twice a night.
    My other incontinence symptoms are seldom.

    Recording allowed me to identify change in frequency and volume,
    And possibly foods or drinks that trigger incontinence.
    I am not saying that foods cause incontinence, but I am saying foods may be a factor in symptoms.
    Some drinks affect me in less than half an hour, while some foods affect me most next day, and a few for two or three days after.

    In order of severity, I avoid;
    Stimulants (coffee, tea, and dark chocolate), nuts, peas, onions and peppers, fruit high in fructose sugar eg raisins, manufactured foods containing fructose syrup, and fizzy drinks.
    D-tox with fruit smoothies is not good for me either.
    Is my incontinence cured? No, but my life is fairly normal now.
    I still have most symptoms ocassionally, and I have yet to determine triggers for leaking before urinating and dribble after – celery might be affecting my bladder neck valve, mainly next day. Urgency on proximity (closeness) to a toilet, eg as I arrive home, is an unknown.
    Artificial sweeteners too.
    Exercise cycling or running appears to influence frequency for me.
    And a cold floor surface such as tiles if I have no footwear can lead to urgency.
    Other people may well have different triggers from mine,
    but I do think coffee and tea (which contain caffeine) are likely to affect many people.