Difficulty Urinating

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Difficulty urinating can be a result of anatomical abnormalities within the genitourinary tract. In men, enlargement of the prostate gland, due most commonly to benign prostatic hyperplasia and less commonly to prostate cancer, can cause difficulty urinating. In both men and women, difficulty urinating can result from neurological or muscular conditions that affect function of the bladder. When it becomes difficult to urinate, other symptoms such as dribbling (leaking or mild incontinence) and a weak urine stream may also be present. Certain medications can also cause problems with urination. Scar tissue from surgery or trauma can also cause problems with the flow of urine. Infections of the urinary tract or of the nervous system can also cause retention of urine.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2014

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Difficulty Urinating
    • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate) is very common in men over 50 years of age. This noncancerous enlargement...learn more »
      In This Article
      Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Article
      • Benign prostatic hyperplasia facts
      • What is the prostate gland?
      • How does the doctor detect prostate enlargement?
      • What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
      • When does benign prostatic hyperplasia start?
      • What happens in BPH? What are symptoms of BPH?
      • How common is BPH? Are there any risk factors?
      • Is BPH a type of cancer?
      • Is BPH always treated?
      • How is BPH treated?
      • Are there other noncancerous prostate problems?
      • Can prostate problems be prevented?
    • Cystocele A cystocele is also known as a fallen or prolapsed bladder. Heavy lifting and straining may cause a cystocele, which causes urine...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cystocele Article
      • Cystocele facts*
      • What is a cystocele?
      • What causes a cystocele?
      • How is a cystocele diagnosed?
      • How is a cystocele treated?
      • Where can people find more information about prolapsed bladders?
    • Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. The two types of diabetes are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
      • Diabetes facts
      • What is diabetes?
      • What is the impact of diabetes?
      • What causes diabetes?
      • What are the different types of diabetes?
      • Type 1 diabetes
      • Type 2 diabetes
      • Other types of diabetes
      • What are diabetes symptoms?
      • How is diabetes diagnosed?
      • Why is blood sugar checked at home?
      • What are the acute complications of diabetes?
      • What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
      • What can be done to slow diabetes complications?
    • Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage results...learn more »
      In This Article
      Multiple Sclerosis Article
      • What is multiple sclerosis?
      • What causes multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis?
      • What are the different types of multiple sclerosis?
      • How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of multiple sclerosis?
      • What is the prognosis and life expectancy with multiple sclerosis?
      • Can multiple sclerosis be prevented?
      • What research is being done on multiple sclerosis?
    • Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland) Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract infections...learn more »
      In This Article
      Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland) Article
      • Prostatitis facts
      • Prostatitis definition
      • What causes prostatitis?
      • What are the risk factors for prostatitis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of prostatitis?
      • When should I see my doctor for prostatitis?
      • How is the diagnosis of prostatitis made?
      • What is the treatment for prostatitis?
      • What are the complications of prostatitis?
      • What is the prognosis for prostatitis?
      • Prostatitis conclusion
    • Scars Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location...learn more »
      In This Article
      Scars Article
      • Scars facts
      • What is a scar?
      • What are the different types of scars?
      • What causes a scar?
      • What are symptoms and signs of a scar?
      • How are scars diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a scar?
      • Are there any home remedies to reduce scarring?
      • What is the prognosis of a scar?
      • Can scarring be prevented?
      • Does insurance coverage apply to scar treatments?
    • Stroke A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke Article
      • Stroke facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What are the different types of stroke?
      • What causes a stroke?
      • What are the risk factors for stroke?
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the warning signs of a stroke?
      • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
      • How is a stroke diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • What is the prognosis for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Urethral Stricture A urethral stricture, or narrowing of the urethra, may cause decreased urine output. Symptoms include painful urination, urinary...learn more »
      In This Article
      Urethral Stricture Article
      • Urethral stricture facts
      • What is the urethra?
      • What is urethral stricture?
      • What are the causes of urethral stricture?
      • What are the symptoms of urethral stricture?
      • What type of doctor treats urethral obstruction?
      • How is urethral stricture diagnosed?
      • Are there any special tests for diagnosing urethral stricture?
      • What is the treatment for urethral stricture?
      • What surgical options are available for urethral stricture?
      • Can urethral stricture be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for urethral stricture?
    • Urinary Retention Urinary retention (inability to urinate) may be caused by nerve disease, spinal cord injury, prostate enlargement, infection,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Urinary Retention Article
      • Urinary retention facts*
      • What is the urinary tract?
      • What causes urinary retention?
      • What are the symptoms of urinary retention?
      • How is urinary retention diagnosed?
      • How is urinary retention treated?
      • What are the complications of urinary retention?
      • What are the complications of treatments for urinary retention?
      • Hope through research
      • Where can people find more information about urinary retention?
    • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that...learn more »
      In This Article
      Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) Article
      • What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
      • What causes a urinary tract infection?
      • What are urinary tract infection symptoms and signs?
      • When should people seek medical care for a UTI?
      • How do physicians diagnose a urinary tract infection?
      • Are there home remedies for a urinary tract infection?
      • What is the treatment for a urinary tract infection?
      • What follow-up is needed for a urinary tract infection?
      • Is it possible to prevent a urinary tract infection?
      • What is the prognosis of a urinary tract infection?
    • Urinary Tract Infections in Children Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and abdominal pain. Associated...learn more »
      In This Article
      Urinary Tract Infections in Children Article
      • Urinary tract infection (UTI) facts
      • What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
      • What causes urinary tract infections in children?
      • What are symptoms and signs of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children?
      • How are UTIs in children diagnosed?
      • How long do UTIs in children last?
      • Are UTIs in children contagious?
      • Are there any home remedies for UTIs in children?
      • What is the treatment for UTIs in children?
      • Can UTIs in children be prevented?
Other Causes of Difficulty Urinating
Examples of Medications for Difficulty Urinating


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List