Voiding dysfunction is a broad term that often has narrow categories of causation.
Normal voiding function includes consistent coordination within the urinary tract between the urethra and the bladder. Voiding dysfunction happens when there is a breakdown in the coordination in the urinary tract. This breakdown sends inconsistent signals between the bladder and the urethra. The resulting effect is overactive pelvic muscles and lack of muscle relaxation during the urinating process.
Dysfunction occurs when urine collects and fills without fully emptying the urine.
Voiding dysfunction in men may be obstruction related.
Spinal cord injury or SCI – A very high rate of urinary or voiding dysfunction occurs with SCIs. Voiding dysfunction is extremely common in men with birth defects affecting the spinal cord, such as spinal bifida.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – Depending on the severity of the trauma an injury causes in the brain voiding dysfunction can be a manifestation.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – There are high incidence rates of voiding dysfunction in MS patients
Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
Dementia – Voiding dysfunction increases as dementia diminishes overall capacity to control the body’s functions.
Parkinson’s Disease – The rate of bladder and voiding dysfunction increases with the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
Potential symptoms include:
Frequent urinary tract infections – this is due to inability to empty the bladder
Immediate urge to urinate and urge incontinence stemming from the inability to hold urine flow upon urgency
Increased frequency of urination (more than eight times per day, as well as more frequent need to urinate during the night)
Unable to completely empty the bladder (urine retention)
Hesitancy starting urinating and during urination
Straining to start or fully complete urinating activities
Difficulty voiding, especially in public settings
Diminished urine stream
Pain when urinating or finding urination difficult – dysuria
Diagnosis of voiding dysfunction might include uroflow tests, which measures the amount of urine being retained, surface EMG, an MRI scan, or a neurological assessment.
Due to the broad categorization of voiding dysfunction, treatment variables of every kind may exist. No matter what treatment ultimately occurs, the progression normally happens in these steps. Mild cases require periodic monitoring by the physician.
Medication therapy is used in moderate cases. Suburethral slings or appliances for containment of incontinence may be necessary. Surgical intervention or catheterization is necessary to repair or reinforce the worst cases.