What Does a Slow Urine Stream Indicate?

Slow urine stream, also known as urine hesitancy is a condition that most often affects older men. However, all ages and even women are prone too but older men are most susceptible due to several factors. When slow urine streams happen, those who experience it find it difficult to pee, or the urine flows intermittently. Likewise, the person may feel that he has not fully released all the pee from his bladder.

woman sitting on a toilet bowl

We have always been taught that we shouldn’t hold our pee and if we feel the urge, just go to the loo and let go.  However, there are those who find it difficult to fully expunge all the pee in their bladder. Sure, the urge is there, but somehow it does not gush but only flow in trickles or what they call a slow urine stream.

What is a Slow Urine Stream? Should it be a Cause for Concern?

Also, known as urine hesitancy is a condition that most often affects older men.  However, all ages and even women are prone too but older men are most susceptible due to several factors.

When this happens, those who experience it find it difficult to pee, or the urine flows intermittently.   Likewise, the person may feel that he has not fully released all the pee from his bladder.

Causes

The slow urine stream may not immediately indicate that the person is already suffering from some form of serious illness like prostate cancer.  Although if it persists, then immediately advice from a medical professional is highly recommended.

There are actually several reasons why some people, especially older men suffer from the slow urine stream.  Here are some of the possible reasons:

Swollen prostate

Older men are prone to this syndrome when the prostate increases in size. Its Called Benign Prostate Hyperplasia since it’s not malignant but enlarges, it presses the urethra. The urethra is the tube where the urine flows from the bladder and when the enlarged prostate presses the urethra, it hinders the urine to flow freely. Thus slow urine stream occurs.

An infection like prostatitis

Infections like prostatitis that hits men also cause the prostate glands to increase in size so when it happens, it again puts pressure on the urethra which makes it difficult for men to pee. This infection also affects the flow of the urine, leading to a slow urine stream.

Effects of surgery

The slow urine stream may also be due to trauma caused by invasive surgery.  For example when during surgery the incisions or tools accidentally poke the urethra, kidneys, and bladder causing them to scar. When this happens, it can affect the urethra causing the tube to narrow.

Damage to the nervous system

Administered anesthesia can damage the nerve endings which could lead to urine hesitancy.  Aside from anesthesia, there are factors too that can damage the nervous system and even the spinal cord like childbirth, infections on the spinal cord and brain, diabetes and accidents.   People with Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis are susceptible to urine hesitancy too.

Use of certain types of medicines

While medicines can help heal and lessen the pain, they too cause adverse reactions.  Medicines like antihistamines, decongestants, and medication for muscle and joint aches can cause urinary hesitancy.

Paruresis

Strange it may seem, some people do feel uncomfortable peeing when there are other people so they experience a slow urine stream.  When this happens, either they can’t pee or the pee flow in trickles. This is called Shy Bladder syndrome and a person who experiences this may need some psychological advice.

Other causes that can lead to a slow urine stream are sexually transmitted diseases, growth of cancerous tumor narrowing the urethra tube, urinary tract infections, and formation of stones in kidney and bladder.

Signs of Slow Urine Stream

Slow urine actually escalates to urine retention when the bladder can no longer expunge the pee, which causes the bladder to increase in size and the person starts to feel uncomfortable.  Before this happens, it is best to go to the doctor to seek medical assistance.

The manifestations of having a slow urine stream do not appear immediately, rather it occurs slowly. Thus, sometimes the person doesn’t feel the urge to consult the doctor for advice.

When the situation worsens, the person having trouble peeing and fully emptying his bladder could experience pains in the lower back, feverish bouts, body tremors, vomiting and finally the person can no longer urinate.

Initial Action for Slow Urinary Stream

Of course, seeking a doctor’s advice at the onset is recommended to avoid the risk of the condition to worsen. There are however some steps that one can do initially to ease the flow.

1. Take a warm shower or bath to relax the body so as to trigger the pee to flow freely.
2. To relax the muscles and bladder, put a warm cloth or hot pack on the lower abdomen.
3. Massage the lower abdomen to stimulate urination.
4. Monitor your bathroom breaks and flow pattern that you can give to the doctor for proper diagnosis.

Women Experience Slow Urine Stream Too

While older men typically experience a slow urine stream, women and younger men may suffer from it too, although the chances are not as high.  For women, normally those who show symptoms are women who just gave birth or while pregnant. A slow urine stream occurs because of the pressure on the bladder and nerve endings situated there.   Urinary tract infection also causes a slow urine stream. Another condition that leads to a slow urine stream in women is bladder prolapse when the bladder enlarges pressing the pelvic floor muscles and tissues into the vagina.

There are other reasons too why women experience slow urine stream after giving birth or while they’re carrying the fetus in their womb:

  • Use of epidural
  • Tear in the perineal
  • Lengthy labor
  • When forceps and vacuum are used while giving birth
  • Baby’s weight exceeding 4000 grams

Treatment for Slow Urine Stream

Treatment for slow urine stream

Before it becomes worse, it is advisable to seek doctors advice and possible treatment. Of course in some instances, the condition is not serious so one can just do follow some simple do it yourself steps to stimulate urination. But if in case, going to the doctor truly helps as he or she can properly diagnose recommend the type of treatment.  Some types of treatments include:

  • Prescriptions for medicines or antibiotics
  • Medication to decrease the size of the enlarged prostate
  • Dilate the urethra
  • Surgery to remove the abscess or tissue on the urethra
  • Removing the cause of blockage through surgery.

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