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Bladder Control And The Prostate

Bladder Control And The Prostate

Jennifer Anger, M.D, M.P.H. (Assistant Professor) gives expert video advice on: Is there a connection between my prostate and urination problems?; Is it normal to feel like I have to urinate almost all the time?; Why do I sometimes feel like I can't completely finish when I urinate? and more...

Is there a connection between my prostate and urination problems?

We always used to blame the prostate for all urination problems and now we realize that men like woman have overactive bladder. Sometimes men may have the overactive bladder symptoms as a result of prostate obstruction or they may simply have overactive bladder symptoms because they have like women, an overactive bladder and it is very important to be seen by a specialist or a general doctor before beginning therapy. Men develop incontinence often from prostate-related procedures and they get the same type of leakage that women get through cough, laugh, sneeze but usually men with no neurological don't usually develop leakage with cough, laugh, sneeze. What they do develop and it is often related to the prostate is urge incontinence on the way to the toilet.

Is it normal to feel like I have to urinate almost all the time?

It's not normal to have to urinate all the time. It can be part of the symptoms of overactive bladder, frequency, urgency, and occasionally leaking on the way to the toilet. It may be due to the prostate or it may be from an overactive bladder. It's also important to make sure this isn't due to an infection or other cause.

Why do I sometimes feel like I can't completely finish when I urinate?

Incomplete emptying is one of the first signs of prostatism or benign prostatic hyperplasia, also referred to as BPH. When a man has difficulty emptying their bladder or a weak urinary stream, we usually recommend that they be seen and evaluated to make sure that they don't have BPH.

What does BPH have to do with bladder control?

As men age the only organ that grows in the body is the prostate, and as it continues to grow it can block the urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from the bladder out into the toilet. When the prostate becomes large and particularly blocks the urethra, men have two types of symptoms. The first type is obstructive symptoms where they have difficulty emptying their bladder, a weak urinary stream, a slow stream and a sensation of incomplete emptying. They can also get irradiative symptoms, which are frequency, urgency, and even urge incontinence. These are the same symptoms that we refer to as overactive bladder. Sometimes in men they can actually be caused by the prostate.

What causes a weak urine stream?

A weak urinary stream is one of the early signs of a blockage the urinary tract. It can be from a scar in the urethra which we refer to as a stricture. Most commonly in men who are in their fifties, it can be due to prostate enlargement. There are other causes that can be treated such as what we call a bladder neck obstruction which is in a different location than the prostate, but actually, on top of the prostate right at the neck of the bladder. So when the stream is weak it is recommended to be evaluated. Often medical therapy can be quite effective for weak urinary stream due to the prostate being enlarged.