Many men will experience problems with urination as they grow older, some of them experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.
An inability to pee, or urinary retention as its sometimes referred, can be caused by a number of reasons.
There is acute retention, with symptoms such as pain, urgent need to urinate or swelling, to chronic urinary retention causing a slow urine stream, leaking urine or difficulty starting the flow.
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The causes for this often relate to either a blockage, which partially or fully prevents urine from leaving the bladder or urethra, or the bladder not being able to maintain a strong enough force to expel all the urine.
Here are some other causes for urinary retention.
When a man’s prostate gets bigger, it can place pressure on the bladder and the urethra – the tube that urine passes through.
The larger the prostate becomes, it presses against the urethra and the bladder wall thickens.
This action further affects a man’s urination.
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“By the time a man turns 60, he has a 50/50 chance of having an enlarged prostate,” adds Cleveland Urology.
It added: “Men turning 85 years of age can expect that percentage to rise to 90%.
“Although many men will have an enlarged prostate, not all men will have the symptoms around urination.”
Having an enlarged prostate may also cause:
- Weak urine stream
- Straining to push urine out
- Trouble getting the flow started or a stream that stops and starts
- Feeling that you can’t empty your bladder
- Dribbling after you leave the bathroom
- Getting up to urinate more during the night
- An inability to urinate at all
Inflammation of the prostate gland
Bacteria sometimes causes prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate.
Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination, as well as pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals.
It’s strongly advised to speak to your GP if you’re also experiencing:
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the groin
- Urgent and frequent urination.
Treatment with antibiotics is essential for acute bacterial prostatitis.
When to see a doctor
“If you’re having bothersome symptoms, see a urologist,” says urologist Dr Brad Gill. “Don’t just ignore it.”
Trouble urinating can negatively affect health or be a sign of a potentially more serious medical issue.
Dr Gill added: “A prolonged blockage can back up in your bladder and then put pressure on your kidneys, which can cause permanent damage over time.
“Additionally, you may also be more likely to get urinary tract infections and stones in your bladder.”
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