Bladder problems in men

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The functions of the bladder are to store and empty urine.  Problems can occur with either or both, of these two functions.

Bladder symptoms are referred to as Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms or LUTS. 

More than half of all men aged 50 and over experience prostate and urinary problems.  The symptoms of urinary problems in men include:

  • difficulty starting the flow of urine (hesitancy) 
  • a slow stream (it takes a long time to do a wee and it may be difficult to aim the urine into the toilet bowl). 
  • a flow that starts and stops (intermittency or intermittent stream) 
  • needing to pass urine more frequently (frequency)
  • dribbling urine after doing a wee or between visits to the toilet (post micturition dribbling, or after dribble)
  • having to go again shortly after you’ve already been (this could be because the bladder is not emptying properly)
  • having an urgent need to urinate (urgency) 
  • burning, discomfort or pain while doing a wee (dysuria)
  • urine that is blood stained (haematuria)  

An enlarged prostate can affect the ability of the bladder to fill and empty properly. It is important to know that having a blood test to screen and monitor the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) level will not detect an enlarged prostate. This enlargement – BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) is not cancerous but can have serious effects on quality of life if left untreated. Treatment and management options of this conditions can be discussed with your doctor.

It may be helpful to complete the International Prostate Symptom Score checklist and take this with you when you visit your doctor. 

For more information please contact us

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Kylie – parent of a child that wets the bed 

Kylie rang our service as she was concerned about her five-year-old daughter, Mia, who was wetting the bed. Kylie had tried limiting Mia’s drinks in the late afternoon and evening and was also getting up at night to wake Mia and take her to the toilet.

Our advisor explained that it may take children until they around 5 ½ years old before they gain bladder control during sleep. Kylie was advised to encourage Mia to drink well throughout the day and was cautioned against cutting out drinks in the afternoon and early evening. Kylie was discouraged from waking Mia at night to take her to the toilet. Kylie was provided with information on obtaining a referral from Mia’s doctor to a bedwetting clinic if Mia continues to wet the bed past 5 ½ years of age.

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Anastasiya’s story

“As a mum of two young children, I have experienced the joys of two pregnancies and postpartum recoveries. I was shocked after the birth of my first child to discover that my pelvic floor muscles had become weak. I sought advice from Bladder and Bowel Health Australia and learnt the importance of exercising these muscles. This knowledge helped, and because I was better informed second time around, I have now fully restored the dignity of my body and truly enjoyed the changes - and my motherhood. Thank you, Bladder and Bowel Health Australia, for informing young families about bladder and bowel health issues.” 

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Doreen – carer of her husband who has dementia 

Doreen was becoming exhausted caring for her husband Tom, who has dementia. Tom was not always making it to the toilet on time and needed his trousers to be changed several times a day. Every day Doreen was also washing bedlinen and the four towels that Tom was laying on at night as he was soaking through his pull-up pants. 

Tom was receiving a high-level Home Care Package, and Doreen was able to arrange with their provider for some of Tom’s package to be allocated to funding continence assessment and management.  

Our advisor went to Tom’s home and conducted a thorough continence assessment. A continence management plan was developed with input from Doreen, and appropriate incontinence aids and linen protection were organised. Doreen is relieved that Tom’s incontinence has reduced, and her washing load has lessened. Doreen is now confident that she can continue caring for Tom in their home. 

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Gary – experiencing leakage after his recent prostate surgery 

Gary met with one of our Bladder and Bowel Health advisors, as he was concerned about his urine leakage that was persisting after his radical prostatectomy five weeks earlier.   

Gary discussed his concerns with the advisor and was reassured that he was making good progress towards regaining bladder control. This reinforced the information he had received from his urologist. Gary was encouraged to switch to a smaller incontinence pad rather than continuing to wear the pull- up incontinence pants he had worn since his surgery. The advisor arranged some smaller pads for him to trial and provided details on where he could buy them close to his home. 

Gary was encouraged to drink plenty of fluid (particularly water) and to increase his fruit and vegetable intake to avoid constipation. Gary was uncertain if his pelvic floor muscles were working properly and he was referred to a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Gary left the clinic in a brighter frame of mind, confident that he was improving and had clear strategies to further support his recovery.