I was in the clinic where I was training to be a therapist. After taking my next client to the room where we would be talking, I left the room briefly to grab some notes and to urinate. After peeing and leaving the bathroom, I felt a warm sensation running down my leg. Looking down, I noticed a dark streak of urine on my light khaki pants. What am I going to do? I wondered, feeling frustrated and worried. What will my client think when I return with piss-soaked pants? When I entered the room where the client was sitting, I chose to engage in conversation as soon as I walked in and to sit down quickly and place the foot of the wet leg on the thigh of the other. I hoped that by not paying attention to the fact that I had pissed my pants, my client would not notice.
I thought I knew how to pee properly. I would empty my bladder and then shake and pull on my penis before putting it away, in the manner I imagined that you’re supposed to. I was never taught how to do this of course; I just kind of figured it out and I believed that the wiggling did something useful, perhaps removing the last drops of urine from my urethra. But in my mid-thirties, this technique stopped working. After ceasing to voluntarily pee, additional involuntary peeing would occur, especially when I sat down, crouched, or bent over.
Around this time, I happened to be on the phone with my uncle, who was in his late-seventies. We were talking about his struggles with old age when he told me that he also found himself peeing after he had thought he had finished. After he informed me that I had pee-soaked pants in my future, I revealed that I was already suffering from a similar form of incontinence. Since there were now at least two of us suffering, I set out to find a solution.
In humans, the urethra is the name of the tube that caries urine from the bladder to where it exits the body, which in males is at the distal end (the tip) of the penis. After leaving the bladder and passing through an internal sphincter, the urethra goes down through the center of the donut-shaped prostate gland, then through a second, external sphincter. The urethral home-run then involves a potential side-track into the urethral bulb, a wider section of the urethra underneath the perineum where its course changes from vertical to horizontal. The…