Urinary Hesitancy | Difficulty with Flow
Urinary hesitancy can be defined as a medical condition wherein a patient faces difficulty in starting or maintaining a urine stream. Urinary hesitancy is normally observed in people of all ages and is common in both males as well as females. However, it is more commonly observed in older men who have an enlarged prostate gland. A number of older men face problems with starting urination, dribbling, and often experience a weak urine stream.
Urinary hesitancy typically develops over a period of time. People might not even observe it until they are unable to urinate at all. This leads to retention of urine in the bladder that can cause swelling and discomfort.
Urinary Hesitancy Causes
There can be many causes of urinary hesitancy. This condition is often related to disorders of the nervous system, infections, surgeries, and some psychological issues. Some of the common reasons for urinary hesitancy are listed below:
- Drugs: Some medications can cause problems related to urination in both men and women. Some of the drugs that can cause these side effects include nasal decongestants, and cold and allergy medications. Some anticholinergics that are advised for stomach ailments such as cramps, incontinence, and muscular spasms can cause urinary hesitancy. Some anti-depressants too can cause this condition.
- Enlarged Prostate: Many men suffer from an enlarged prostate in old age. The swelling caused by this enlargement can create pressure on the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine. This pressure on the urethra can cause difficulties related to getting a flow or maintaining it.
- Blockage of Urethra: Apart from an enlarged prostate, various other causes can lead to a blockage of the urethra. These include prostate cancer and prostate infection. Scar tissue, which is a stricture in the tube that leads to the bladder can also cause blockage of urine. This condition can happen in both males as well as females. Other causes for blockage of urine include injury, infection, blood clots, stones, and tumors in the pelvic region.
- Nerve Problems: People often lose control over bladder function due to a disruption in the nerves between the brain and the bladder. This condition is referred to as neurogenic bladder.
- Infection: An infection in the pelvic area, for instance herpes, can cause interference in the nerves in the area, resulting in urinary hesitancy.
- Surgery: Urinary retention is one of the most common after-effects of surgeries. This is due to the use of anesthetics during surgeries. The anesthetics can impair the proper functioning of the nerves responsible for the maintaining a healthy flow of urine.
- Shy Bladder Syndrome: Urinary hesitancy can also be attributed to psychological issues wherein people find it difficult to urinate in the presence of other people.
Care and Treatment for Urinary Hesitancy
Heat is known to treat urination problems. Placing a hot water bottle or a similar heating device on the lower abdomen helps in relaxing the muscles of the bladder and easing the flow of urine. Gently massaging the bladder and applying light pressure over the bladder can also help in emptying the bladder. Another important home care tip is to consume plenty of fluids.
A recurring problem of urinary hesitancy should be referred to a doctor. You must visit a doctor at the earliest if you are facing difficulty in urinating, specially when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, fever, and severe back pain.
- “Drug-Induced Urinary Retention” by Dr Katia M. C. Verhamme, et al. Published in May 2008, Volume 31, Issue 5 of Drug Safety, accessed on 26 May 2015. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/10.2165/00002018-200831050-00002