What to expect?
In the first few hours and days after having the catheter removed you may feel that you have no control over your bladder. It is difficult to predict exactly how you will be affected. Some men will leak small amounts of urine and some will leak or 'gush' large amounts like these men below.
2“When I had it taken out it was uncontrollable. I couldn’t get a towel off and get another one on before it would leak all over the floor. It was really bad...."
6 "I expected to get some sort of dribbling and things like that. I did get a little bit of leakage at night so I used to wear a pad inside a pair of pants and just wear it at night and it never got more than very slightly damp and within a couple of weeks it had sorted itself out so I was very lucky."
The leakage may stop quickly after a few days or persist for longer. Most men find that their leakage improves gradually over time. However, improvement may not be smooth - you are likely to have good days and bad days.
3“ You are going to go two steps forward and all of a sudden you find that you go five back and it will take you another two weeks to get back to where you were but then you will suddenly notice that maybe for the next three weeks you’ve improved.”
4“I only went to play golf again for the first time after four months…. and I just about got round nine holes without filling a pad.”
By 12 months after your operation approximately 85% 1 of men will be continent again (no leakage of urine). If you are one of the few men who is still leaking urine 12 months or more after your operation, unfortunately research suggests 1 that you are unlikely to improve further without treatment. However, there are treatment and product options available to you. Be honest with your surgeon or nurse at any follow up appointments about how much urine you are leaking.
What can I do?
While you are waiting for your leakage to improve, there are continence products and practical tips to help you manage your leakage. Finding the right combination of continence products that work for your lifestyle, will make a big difference to your quality of life.
Most men find pads very useful at least initially. However, if leakage continues and affects your activities and lifestyle, you may like to consider other products that could work better for you. Many men find that a mix of products - such as a pad and one or two types of device - work well for all activities.
5“At home here it’s no problem going to the loo as soon as I need it I go upstairs and I change a pad as soon as it’s feeling too wet …I wear a sheath and a leg bag so when I go out for the day I use those and that’s an absolute godsend.”
Anything else I need to know?
If you haven’t done so before read about diet and lifestyle and pelvic floor muscle exercises
For information on accessing disabled/accessible toilets, public toilet maps and urgent toilet cards read useful things you can do
Read more about managing incontinence with products in the first 12 months here: