I am a 59 year old man and for the past year I have been experiencing an urgent need to urinate, especially at night. I often get a painful and burning sensation when I urinate and it feels like I have not completely emptied my bladder. This is really affecting my sleep as I can be up as many as three or four times through the night. Should I be worried about this?
Mr Neil Harris, Consultant Urologist replies:
Many men develop these kinds of bladder symptoms as they get older. The symptoms vary in severity and are often due to enlargement of the prostate gland, which commonly occurs as men age. Typically, the prostate enlargement causes obstruction to the flow of urine from the bladder, reducing the strength of the urine flow and preventing the bladder from emptying completely. It can also lead to the bladder becoming “irritable” and this causes individuals to have to pass urine more frequently and get up at night to urinate.
Occasionally, these symptoms arise as a result of a more serious condition. It is therefore important that you see your GP if you are suffering from bladder symptoms. Many different treatments are available, including tablets and surgery, and your GP will discuss these with you. You will need some simple tests before treatment is offered and it may be necessary to be referred to a urologist for further tests and treatment depending on the severity of your symptoms.