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Weak Urine Stream? It Could Be Urinary Hesitancy.

Weak urine stream. Dribbling after urinating. Difficulty urinating or trouble starting the flow of urine. Slow urine flow. These are all common symptoms that men experience as they get older.

And, while occasional urinary hesitancy is usually nothing to worry about, but long-term or recurrent problems should be examined by a doctor. Left untreated, urinary hesitancy may eventually lead to urinary retention, which is a painful condition where you’re unable to empty your bladder and can be dangerous.

Symptoms Of Urinary Hesitancy

While the main symptoms for urinary hesitancy are having trouble starting or maintaining a stream of urine, other symptoms may also appear:

  • Dribbling at the end of urination

  • Fever

  • Lower back pain

  • Unable to urinate at all

  • Chills and shaking

  • Vomiting

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Treatment For Urinary Hesitancy

Treatment for urinary hesitancy will depend on the cause. While there are many different things that may cause difficulty peeing in men, one of the most common is BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

BPH is a common condition, with a third of men experiencing it by the time they’re in their 60’s and over half experiencing it by the time they reach their 80’s.  BPH is when the prostate gland in men (which is located just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra – the tube that carries urine out of the body) begins to grow larger. As the prostate grows, it places increased pressure on the urethra which can make it difficult to start, or maintain, a urine stream.

While BPH is the most common cause of urinary hesitancy in men, it’s not the only one. Your condition could be caused by several things, including:

  • STDs

  • Prostate or bladder cancer

  • Bladder or kidney stones

  • Side effects of your medications

  • Neurogenic bladder, or nerve damage to the urinary system from conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke

  • Tumors

  • The result of a recent surgery or procedure

Some people also suffer from a condition called “shy bladder syndrome”, or paruresis. This condition is a social anxiety disorder (vs. something being wrong with your urinary system) and occurs when your sphincter muscles freeze up when you’re around other people (like in a public restroom) and are unable to urinate.

Your doctor will ask you questions about your condition, such as “how strong is your urine flow?’, “do you have any pain or other symptoms?”, and “how long have you been experiencing the condition?’ He or she will also likely perform a prostate exam, take a urine sample, a urine flow test, and test for any other conditions that may be contributing to urinary hesitance.

Depending on the cause of urinary hesitancy, your doctor may prescribe the following treatments:

  • Medication to treat BPH

  • Surgery to remove the prostate

  • Surgery to remove any blockages or scar tissue that have occurred in the urethra.

  • Antibiotics or other medication to treat urinary tract infections that may have occurred.

Additionally, at-home remedies, such as applying heat (in the form of a bath, shower, or hot water bottle), or kegel exercises, which can help improve the strength and control of the muscles that start and stop the flow of urine, may help alleviate some of the symptoms of urinary hesitancy.


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