What is Bladder Outlet Obstruction?

The bladder is a hallow organ that hold urine from the kidneys. Often it's one of the parts of the body not often thought about until it stops working properly. Problems affecting the bladder can cause painful urination and leakage at unwanted times. Sometimes simple lifestyle changes can improve these conditions however there are certain conditions that occur which need treatment immediately. 

One of them is entitled Bladder Outlet Obstruction which is also referred to as lower urinary tract obstruction or prostatism. Symptoms include abdominal pain, pain while urinating, inability to urinate, straining to urinate, dribbling after urination, waking up throughout the night to urinate. They also include slow urine flow, urinary tract infections and a full feeling in the bladder on a constant basis. 


What happens is the flow of urine from the bladder to the urethra become disrupted, resulting in blockage. This condition often occurs in older men and usually caused by an enlarged prostate. About 20% to 35% of older men have urinary obstruction. Bladder stones, tumors, scar tissue, pelvic tumors, prostate cancer and other conditions can also cause this blockage. 

If bladder outlet obstruction is not treated right away, urine can back up which causes damage to the urinary tract that can sometimes be permanent. Treatment needed depends on the condition that's causing the obstruction, but surgery is often the first line of defense. The condition will worsen if treatment is not sought right away. Options include, catheters to help the flow of urine, treatment for the condition causing the obstruction and surgery. 

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a common problem that affects many people. In the United States, there are about 33 million people who suffer from an overactive bladder. About thirty percent of men are currently living with an overactive bladder.

It is likely that there are many more men living with this condition because many men don’t seek help for this problem, let alone any medical condition. Living with an overactive bladder can interfere with your daily routine including work, sleep, exercise, relationships and social life. However, this does not have to be the case.

  1. Accidental leaking. Even just a few drops is an indication that you may have an overactive bladder.
  2. Frequent urination. Urinating more than eight times a day.
  3. Nocturia. Waking up more than two times a night to urinate. This condition becomes more common with age, although it should not affect your sleep habits as it does with an overactive bladder.
  4. Sudden urge to urinate. Even if you’ve had little or nothing to drink for hours, if you’ve already emptied your bladder, and regardless of the time of day. Intense urgency may even cause you to leak on the way to the bathroom.
  5. Disrupted lifestyle. If you’re making changes to your lifestyle to accommodate for your bladder problems, you should seek help. Living with OAB can cause emotional distress, embarrassment, social isolation, and even depression.

If you’re suffering from symptoms of an overactive bladder, see your urologist. There are many options for treatment including medications, behavioral therapy, devices, and even surgery. In the meantime, limit alcohol and caffeine intake, avoid drinking anything right before going to sleep, practice strengthening your bladder muscle with Kegel exercises, set a bathroom schedule to train your bladder, and if necessary, wear men’s protective undergarments (pads or underwear).