Indexed on: 05 Dec '06Published on: 05 Dec '06Published in: Urology®
Urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction remain the long-term complications that affect most patients' lives after radical prostatectomy. Previous reports evaluating incontinence have focused on volumes of urine loss and daily pad use to assess these issues. We have observed that small volumes of urinary incontinence during sexual activity can be just as disconcerting to patients. We attempt to further describe and assess the phenomenon of urinary incontinence with ejaculation in a series of patients.We reviewed the experience of one physician who received referrals for the treatment of erectile dysfunction after radical prostatectomy from July 2002 to March 2005 and identified 26 men experiencing urine leak predominantly during ejaculation. Questionnaires assessing urinary incontinence were sent to all these patients.The mean age was 62 years (range 54 to 73). Sixteen patients underwent bilateral nerve-sparing, five unilateral nerve-sparing, and five nonnerve-sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy. At a median follow-up of 42 months (range 15 to 118), all patients had experienced urine leakage (volume 0.5 teaspoon to 1 cup) during ejaculation. The incontinence questionnaire revealed that most patients had mild incontinence; however, they experienced ejaculatory urine incontinence "most, or all of the time" and considered it a "big problem."Although the prevalence of ejaculatory urine incontinence is unclear, in our experience it occurs often enough to be considered a part of the routine postprostatectomy evaluation. A better understanding of the pathophysiology of postprostatectomy incontinence will lead to targeted therapy and an improved quality of life for the patient.