Voiding Dysfunction


Voiding dysfunction is an umbrella term that refers to conditions that involve an inability to fully empty the bladder.

The ability to use the bathroom as needed may be a physical function that many people take for granted. However, for people with voiding dysfunction, this capability is often greatly compromised due to a condition called voiding dysfunction.

You can seek treatment for voiding dysfunction yourself by learning what this condition is and how doctors can address it in patients.


What is Voiding Dysfunction?

Voiding dysfunction conditions can stem from pelvic floor muscles that are too relaxed. They can also be caused by blockages in the urinary tract system.

The urinary tract system consists of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. When these organs function normally, they control the amount of urine that is made and stored in the body. They also allow for people to pass urine regularly.

However, when any of these organs are compromised, the urinary tract system can malfunction, resulting in voiding dysfunction. In some instances, the only way to overcome voiding dysfunction is to seek proper medical treatment for it.

Specifically, voiding dysfunction, which can affect both men and women of any age, refers to any abnormalities that exist with filling, storing, and emptying urine. It includes frequent urination, which is defined as the need to urinate more than eight times per day. It also refers to urgency to urinate as well as urine retention or an inability to fully empty the bladder.

Causes of Voiding Dysfunction

A number of conditions can directly contribute to voiding dysfunction. In men, the problem may arise from blockages of the urethra. These blockages can be caused by prostatits or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In women, voiding dysfunction can stem from either an over relaxation or overactivity of the bladder muscles. In both men and women, voiding dysfunction could be the result of bladder tumors, scar tissue in the urethra, and bladder stones.

Voiding dysfunction presents itself with symptoms that include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty starting the stream of urine
  • Weak urine stream
  • Urine dribbling

Doctors often diagnose it with blood tests or a urinalysis to look for signs of infection. They also may use a uroflowmeter test that can detect the amount and strength of a person’s urine stream.

To determine how much urine is left in the bladder after a person urinates, doctors may use a bladder ultrasound.

Voiding Dysfunction Treatment

Voiding dysfunction can be treated in a number of ways. Some of the most common remedies include:

  • Pelvic floor exercises to support the bladder
  • Muscle relaxants to relax overactive bladder muscles
  • Electrical stimulation or neuromodulation to control the nerve signals sent to and from the bladder
  • Surgery to reduce the size of the prostate