Problems with starting or keeping a steady stream of urine can affect men and women of all ages. For men, the most common cause of this issue is BPH. Issues with weak urine flow will typically mean the bladder is not emptying properly. With BPH, this is because the enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the penis.
Weak bladder muscles can cause the bladder to not empty properly when they can't contract enough to empty out urine. Patients with diseases that affect the nervous system, such as Parkinson's or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) may also be at risk for bladder issues that affect urination.
For women, a condition called bladder prolapse, or cystocele, may cause problems with urination streams. In this condition, the bladder can drop and bulge through pelvic floor muscles and tissue into the vagina. It's vital to seek help if you have issues such as painful urination, cloudy urine or blood in your urine.
These could signal an infection of the urinary tract, prostate or something else even more serious.
Dr. Tomas L. Griebling, MD is a Urologist and Residency Program Director in the Department of Urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.