Lower urinary tract symptoms is a generic term that is used to describe a number of different symptoms that can affect the quality and control of urine in the lower urinary tract. The lower urinary tract consists of the bladder and the urethra.
Both men and woman can be affected by lower urinary tract symptoms, however they are more common in men, and the risk increases further as you age. It is estimated that around 50% of men over the age of 50 will experience some form or lower urinary tract symptoms.
Symptoms in older men are often linked to an enlarged prostate gland; this is known as benign prostate hyperplasia. In women they are most common after the age of 40, and can be linked to lower urinary tract infections (UTI).
Symptoms can be different for every patient. Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Urinating during the night
- Urge incontinence (sudden urge to urinate)
- Feeling like your bladder is never empty
- Poor urine flow
- Hesitation when on the toilet
If you are suffering from urinary tract symptoms, then it is important that you describe your symptoms in detail to your GP. As these problems can be caused by a number of different conditions, it is important that they know and can therefore ensure that you have the right testing and hopefully a treatment plan that will alleviate the symptoms.
Depending on the diagnosis, the treatment options may be conservative. Conservative methods of treatment include taking medication and changing life style factors such as not drinking after 8pm. If these are unsuccessful then you may need to have a surgical procedure to correct the underlying conditions and therefore reduce your symptoms.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.