Poor urine flow is when urine falls on your feet or not far away. You cannot hold a regular urinary stream during urination. In other words, the pressure of the urine jet is low.
Quite often, weak urine flow accompanies trouble starting to urinate. We call it hesitancy.
Poor urine stream can hardly be felt or can keep you into the bathroom for minutes. The dribbling at the end of urination is quite frequent. Your underwear and pants may get wet and smell bad.
Why do I have a weak urinary flow? What causes a poor urinary stream? Moreover, above all, how can I improve, treat or fix my situation?
I will try to answer all of your questions.
Weak urinary stream occurs in the following situations:
A weak urinary stream can sporadically happen when you start urinating, and you have an overfull bladder. It typically occurs in the morning, when your bladder has overfilled during the night. Then, your urination is hard to start (hesitancy), and you cannot hold a regular stream.
One common cause of slow urine flow in men is a benign, enlarged prostate. It is the most common cause in older men. In addition, young males may experience an inflammation of the prostate called prostatitis. In these situations, the prostate increases its volume and obstructs the urethra. Consequently, urination becomes hard and slow.
Frequent urination and poor ejaculation often accompany poor urinary stream in prostate diseases.
Poor urinary stream, or hesitancy, is less frequent in women. This symptom is most likely to develop after childbirth, postpartum, and related to trauma to the nerves surrounding the bladder. The risk factors are:
Urinary tract infections and herpes genitalis are other possible cause of low urine flow and hesitancy in women.
During pregnancy, it is more likely that you have frequent urination rather than poor urinary flow. Despite some beliefs, poor urine flow cannot be considered a sign of early pregnancy.
Postmenopausal women may have a weak urinary stream because of the under-activity of the bladder muscle. The bladder contracts slower and the urine flow is weak.
Immediate after cystoscopy, endoscopic prostate resection (TURP) or prostate surgery (Radical prostatectomy), reduced urine flow is typical, and it is due to inflammation and swelling of the urethra after the surgical trauma. The obstruction is usually transitory. After days, the urine flow will improve along with the inflammation recovering. If the poor urinary stream occurs after weeks on a few months, most likely the obstruction is due to a urethral scar, and we have to consider the further procedure.
Poor urinary flow after other surgeries, like inguinal hernia surgery, may be related to transitory bladder hypo-function because of epidural anaesthesia.
Other pelvis surgeries like hysterectomy or low anterior colon resection, may be the reason for hesitancy and low urinary flow. It may be due to accidental nerve damages during the operation.
In all cases, the patient needs bladder catheterization (temporary or permanent) to void the bladder and preserve the kidney function.
Alcohol causes dilatation of the veins. The prostate and the bladder neck are widely surrounded by large veins draining the blood from those organs. The more the veins dilate, the less efficient is the drainage of the blood from the prostate and the bladder neck. It results in blood congestion, prostate swelling and contraction of the bladder neck. Consequently, the urinary flow will be weak.
Weak urinary flow may come not alone. It may occur along with painful urination and burning sensation in case of UTI.
When weak urine flow comes with frequent urination, it is a sign of lower urinary tract obstruction like prostate enlargement or urethral stricture. In these cases, there may also be poor ejaculation.
If a stone gets stuck in the urethra, the urine flow will be in drops, scattered and possibly painful.
Fever and poor urine stream is always an urgency and sometimes a real emergency.
One of the complications of diabetes is bladder underactivity related to damage of its nerves. The nerves innervating the bladder are commonly affected over the years, especially in uncontrolled diabetes. Consequently, the nerve signal for contraction is less efficient, and the bladder contraction is weak. However, diabetes reduces the muscle in the bladder wall that contracts less efficiently. All these situations are a cause of weak urine flow.
Since there are several reasons for weak urine flow, we cannot treat it without a correct diagnosis. The urologist will guide you through the diagnostic steps that usually include:
A weak urine stream, mainly if associated with other symptoms (above all fever), is always a good reason to see a doctor.
I strongly contraindicate any home remedies for weak urine stream without seeing a doctor first.