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Alternative Names Return to topDelayed urination; Hesitancy; Difficulty initiating urination
Definition Return to top
Difficulty starting or maintaining a urinary stream is called urinary hesitancy.
Considerations Return to top
This problem affects people of all ages and occurs in both sexes, but it is most common in older men with enlarged prostate glands.
Urinary hesitancy usually comes on gradually. It sometimes goes unnoticed until urinary retention (complete inability to urinate) produces distention and discomfort in the bladder.
Almost all older men have some degree of difficulty in starting urination, dribbling, or decreased force of the urinary stream.
Causes Return to top
Urinary hesitancy can be caused by:
Home Care Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
If you have not been evaluated for this problem previously, you should call your doctor for urinary hesitancy, dribbling, or weak urine stream.
Call your doctor right away if you have fever, vomiting, side or back pain, shaking chills, or passing little urine for 1-2 days.
Call if you have blood in your urine, cloudy urine, frequent or urgent need to urinate, or a discharge from the penis or vagina.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination, paying special attention to your pelvis, rectum, abdomen, and lower back.
Medical history questions may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
Treatment of urinary hesitancy varies depending on the underlying cause. If a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may be prescribed. A surgical procedure may be required to relieve prostate obstruction (see TURP).
References Return to top
Bass PF. Urinary tract infections. Prim Care. 2003; 30(1): 41-61, v-vi.
Hua VN. Acute and chronic prostatitis. Med Clin North Am. 2004; 88(2): 483-494.Update Date: 4/13/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Marc Greenstein, DO, Urologist, North Jersey Center for Urologic Care, Denville, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (7/23/2007).