Dear Doctor, I’m in my early 50’s and have noticed that I now need to pee more often and have to get up several times in the night.

20 November 2018

Urinary symptoms become increasingly common as men get older, with 30% of men over the age of 50 years suffering from moderate to severe lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The most common reason for LUTS in men is benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) which involves the enlargement of the prostate gland.

Common symptoms include:

  • Frequency: passing urine more frequently during the day
  • Urgency: an urgent need to pass urine
  • Urge incontinence: wetting before you manage to get to the toilet
  • Hesitancy: the urine flow not starting straight away
  • Poor flow: a weak and sometimes intermittent urinary stream that can split and spray
  • Incomplete emptying: a feeling that the bladder is not empty after passing urine
  • Nocturia: needing to get up at night to pass urine

BPH is a benign condition and for the vast majority of men, symptoms can be controlled with lifestyle modification and medication following a thorough medical assessment.

Some men who have very severe symptoms or whose symptoms are not controlled by medication may require prostate surgery, which is typically minimally invasive and requires no more than an overnight stay in hospital. If you are experiencing such symptoms then you may wish to consider seeing your GP.

In some men LUTS can be due to more serious underlying problems. If you have seen blood in the urine (even if it was only once) or pain in the pelvic/bladder area this may be a sign of something more serious and you should discuss this with your GP urgently.

Mr Richard Robinson is a Consultant Urologist practicing at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.

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