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.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate) Quiz
Take the Enlarge Prostate Quiz and challenge your knowledge of prostate problems. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments, and...
Enlarged Prostate (BPH) Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition cause by an enlarged prostate. Get more information on how an enlarged prostate...
Picture of Prostate
Side View of the Prostate. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. See a picture of the...
Picture of Prostate Gland
A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the bladder. See a picture of Prostate Gland and learn...
Is prostate cancer the most common cancer in men? Take this quiz to find out and learn the causes, symptoms and treatments of...
Prostate Cancer Symptoms, PSA Test, Treatments
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Learn the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, along with causes and...
Causes of Difficulty Urinating
Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a condition that affects the nervous system, causing weakening of the muscles and reflexes....
A cystocele is also known as a fallen or prolapsed bladder. Heavy lifting and straining may cause a cystocele, which causes urine...
Enlarged Prostate (BPH, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate) is very common in men over 50 years of age. Half of all men over the...
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder in which brain and spinal cord nerve cells become demyelinated. This damage...
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and...
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating,...
Prostatitis vs. BPH (Enlarged Prostate) Differences and Similarities
Prostatitis and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostate gland) are both conditions of the prostate gland. There...
Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs)
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...
A urethral stricture, or narrowing of the urethra, may cause decreased urine output. Symptoms include painful urination, urinary...
Urinary retention (inability to urinate) may be caused by nerve disease, spinal cord injury, prostate enlargement, infection,...
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...
Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and abdominal pain. Associated...
Other Causes of Difficulty Urinating
- Bladder Stones
- Central Nervous System Infections
- Certain Medications
- Poisoning (Heavy Metals)
- Shy Bladder Syndrome