ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do about incomplete bladder emptying?

Question

What can I do about incomplete bladder emptying?

I have been having incomplete bladder emptying for quite some time now. The urine flow stops and starts again, the force of the flow however has not changed noticeably. It sometimes hurts to pull the foreskin back and sometimes self stimulation is painful, not all the time though. Infection has been ruled out because I recently got my urine tested for any bacterial infections and it came out negative. I have not seen blood in urine or semen. At present I am not sexually active and have reduced the frequency of self stimulation because it is painful sometimes. Sporadically I experience a shooting pain in my urethra but it goes away immediately. My urologist has recommended cystoscopy to see if there is any blockage in the urine flow path. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your symptoms. It sounds as if this has been occurring for quite some time. In order to provide an accurate diagnosis, it will be necessary to review your entire medical record and also perform a thorough physical exam. The doctor would also need to review your prior lab testing and any prior imaging. Only after collecting this information will it be possible to make recommendations regarding diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, I recommend you schedule an appointment with an urologist to discuss these concerns. Incomplete bladder emptying has many potential causes. As you mention, a bacterial infection, either of the urinary tract or of the prostate, can cause these symptoms. Enlargement of the prostate or a prostate tumor can cause compression of the urethra and impaired bladder emptying. An obstruction of the ureters, bladder, or urethra can cause impaired bladder emptying. Many medications have a side effect of impaired bladder emptying. A problem of the bladder muscle itself can cause urinary retention. Your pain with erection may be related or may be due to a different issue. In addition to basic urine and blood testing, you may need to undergo an ultrasound, CT, or cystoscopy. I encourage you to raise these concerns with a urologist.

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