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Male stress urinary incontinence is often underreported
Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA
Apr  2021 (Vol.  28, Issue  2, Pages( 10589 - 10594)
PMID: 33872555


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  • INTRODUCTION Patient-reported pads per day use is a widely used metric in grading the severity of stress urinary incontinence and guiding surgical decision-making, particularly in mild-to-moderate cases. We sought to compare patient-reported stress urinary incontinence severity by pads per day with objective findings on standing cough test. We hypothesize that patient-reported pads per day often underestimates stress urinary incontinence severity.


    We retrospectively reviewed our male stress urinary incontinence surgical database and identified 299 patients with self-reported mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence who were evaluated with standing cough test prior to surgical intervention between 2007 and 2019. Patients were evaluated with the Male Stress Incontinence Grading Scale for urinary leakage during a standing cough test. This test has been shown to reliably and accurately predict surgical success. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify parameters associated with stress urinary incontinence upgrading in a multivariable model.


    Among 299 patients with reported mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence, 101 (34%) were upgraded to severe stress urinary incontinence by standing cough test. Prior stress urinary incontinence surgery (OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.0-8.0, p < 0.0001) and radiation (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.7-5.7, p < 0.0001) were significantly associated with Male Stress Incontinence Grading Scale upgrading in multivariable analysis.


    Roughly one-third of men who report mild-to-moderate stress urinary incontinence actually have severe incontinence observed on physical examination. All men being evaluated for stress urinary incontinence should undergo standing cough test to accurately grade incontinence severity and guide surgical management.