ZocdocAnswersWhat is urinary hesitancy?

Question

What is urinary hesitancy?

I'm an older guy and the symptoms I've had for a while really look like what's described online as urine hesitancy. What I can't figure out if this is a problem that is bad to leave untreated. What is urine hesitancy and why is it happening to me now?

Answer

Urinary hesitancy is a common condition for older men. I strongly recommend you talk to your doctor as this can and should be treated. Urinary hesitancy is a condition where one has trouble initiating a urinary stream. This is mostly caused by obstruction in the urinary tract. In older men, the most likely cause of obstruction is the prostate--which can enlarge over time. This is a condition known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH. As this worsens it can cause many symptoms--unable to fully empty the bladder, having to urinate many times a day, waking up to urinate at night, etc. A critical situation develops when the prostate fully blocks the urinary tract--a situation called acute urinary retention. This can cause severe pain and permanent kidney injury. Therefore it is bad to leave untreated. This can easily be treated with either daily medications or a small procedure done by a urologist. There can be other things that can cause this which should be evaluated. This rare but important cause is prostate cancer. I encourage you to have this evaluated. BPH is a progressive disease in men therefore will likely worsen if left untreated. In addition, there are good treatments out there. Good Luck!

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