Why should I track my urine flow rate?

Although common knowledge says that as we age our urine stream weakens, this process is not, in most cases, caused by your bladder weakening over time. Rather, a weakening stream is often caused by enlargement of the prostate.

The prostate is the semen-producing gland located around the urethra where it attaches to your bladder. Right around your mid-twenties, your prostate will begin to grow naturally in a process called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This process is non-cancerous and is not correlated with prostate cancer as far as we know.

Symptoms

Because of its location, your prostate can grow to a large enough size that it begins to affect your urination, and this is most commonly the source of a weakening urine stream as your body ages. More than half of men with BPH may never show symptoms, but BPH can produce symptoms that negatively affect your daily routine and cause discomfort or even misery due to interruptions of your sleep cycle.

Symptoms of BPH can include:

Contact your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication to shrink your prostate down to a more reasonable size. If this does not alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove excess prostate tissue.

Getting ahead of the curve

Keeping tabs on your urine stream means being aware of your BPH before the symptoms affect your everyday life and cause you grief. There’s no better way to keep tabs on your stream than proudP.

Using deep-learning technology validated in multiple clinical studies and internal lab tests, proudP can tell if your stream is weakening before you notice anything. Weakening of your urine stream is gradual, meaning that without more severe symptoms of BPH you may not notice any change until it’s too late.

Because it is precise, using acoustics and uroflowmetry to measure the strength of your urine stream, proudP will pick up on even a tiny change and notify you if it feels you should contact a urologist. Use proudP to keep in touch with your body, so you can seek care fast and get on with your life.

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I can’t empty my bladder when I pee

Most men will experience a weaker urine stream as they age, and this weakness can cause unsatisfying urination. You may feel like your bladder isn’t empty, but that you also can’t get any more urine out. This is called urinary hesitancy. Urinary hesitancy is not a disease, but a condition that can be caused by many underlying processes. Many will simply chalk this process up to aging. In reality, there are many possible underlying causes that are treatable. This can be done either through medication or simply identifying a cause and removing it from your life. <h2>Enlarged Prostate</h2> The most common cause of urinary hesitancy. as men age is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a noncancerous enlargement of the male prostate. The prostate is the semen-producing gland that surrounds your urethra where it connects to your bladder. Due to its location, enlargement of the gland (BPH) can affect your urination, making it difficult to pee. Some signs that you have BPH may include: <ul> <li>A hesitant and/or interrupted urine stream</li> <li>A more urgent need to pee</li> <li>Leaking or dribbling before you get to the bathroom</li> <li>A sense that your bladder is not empty after you pee</li> <li>Frequent urination that wakes you up in the night.</li> </ul> If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should contact your doctor. They may recommend medications to shrink the prostate to a more reasonable size, and if your prostate doesn’t respond to that they may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue. In either case, BPH is a reversible condition when treated by medical professionals. <h2>Certain Medications</h2> There are a host of medications that can affect your ability to pee. Anything from muscle relaxants to antidepressants to even certain allergy medications can temporarily make it difficult to pee or make peeing less satisfying. If you’ve recently started taking medications of this nature, this may be the cause of your unsatisfying urination. <h2>Surgery</h2> Surgery can actually cause urinary hesitancy in days following the procedure. Anesthetics given during surgery can cause problems with the nerves in your bladder, especially if your bladder fills during the surgery. Normally, a single visit to the doctor’s office is enough to solve this problem, as it is usually resolved once the bladder is emptied. <h2>Nerve Damage</h2> If your brain is unable to get the signal that your bladder is full, it can cause urinary hesitancy. Because of this, another cause of urine hesitancy is diseases or conditions that damage the nervous system. Some of these underlying conditions include: <ul> <li>A Stroke</li> <li>Diabetes</li> <li>Multiple Sclerosis (MS)</li> <li>Parkinson’s Disease</li> <li>Injuries to the brain or spinal cord.</li> <li>Other causes</li> </ul> While the causes listed above are the most common, there are other conditions that can cause urine hesitancy. Some of these include: <ul> <li>Prostatitis (Prostate infection that causes swelling)</li> <li>Urinary tract infections (UTIs)</li> <li>Bladder or Kidney stones partially blocking the flow of urine</li> <li>Hard stools in your rectum caused by constipation</li> <li>In rare cases, tumors or cancer can block the bladder or urethra</li> </ul> If urinating causes you any pain, if you’re unable to pee, if there is blood in your urine, or if your urine is cloudy, you should seek immediate medical attention. These are signs of infections of the urinary tract or prostate and could mean something even more serious.

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What are the typical symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

As men age, it is normal for the male prostate to gradually swell. When the prostate becomes large enough that it starts to pose a problem for you, it is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. Because of its location around the urethra where it attaches to your bladder, BPH can cause many problems ranging from mild urinary inconveniences to very serious bathroom issues or even severe pain and, if left completely untreated, complications can be potentially life-threatening. Some of the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include: <ul> <li>Frequent need to pee</li> <li>The need to pee waking you up more than once per night (nocturia)</li> <li>Difficulty starting to pee</li> <li>Weak urine stream</li> <li>Dribbling/interrupted urine stream</li> <li>Inability to empty your bladder completely</li> </ul> If left untreated BPH can cause: <ul> <li>Urinary tract infection (UTI)</li> <li>Inability to pee (urinary incontinence)</li> <li>Blood in semen/urine</li> </ul> By the age of 60, roughly half of all men will have BPH. Because it’s so common, these symptoms of BPH are often written off as natural aging processes but BPH can be treated by medication or surgery, especially if caught early. There are other less common potential conditions that may cause similar symptoms to BPH. These include: <ul> <li>UTI</li> <li>Prostate inflammation (prostatitis)</li> <li>Narrowing of the urethra (urethral stricture)</li> <li>Scarring in bladder from a past surgery</li> <li>Bladder/kidney stones</li> <li>Nervous system problems</li> <li>Prostate cancer/bladder cancer</li> </ul> If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, set up an appointment with your doctor and they can help narrow down the cause. It’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your own body, and with regards to urinary issues, proudP can help you to keep tabs on what you might not notice on your own. If you manage to catch any urinary condition early, you can get to living your life with peace of mind before symptoms get worse in the first place.

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Waking up in the middle of the night to pee?

Waking up in the night to go to the bathroom is never fun, but depending on the frequency and severity it can indicate an underlying condition or simply mean that you should cut down on drinking fluids before bed. As we age, it’s normal for nightly urination to increase slightly in frequency. In these cases, your bladder will usually only wake you up one time on a given night. If you find that you’re regularly waking up more often than that, your nightly urination may be the result of an underlying condition. <h2>Causes</h2> There are many reasons that you may be waking up with an urge to urinate. Some of the most common causes of waking up to go to the bathroom include: <h3>Too much fluid intake before bed</h3> Especially if beverages are caffeinated or carbonated, drinking right before bed can mean that your bladder will fill up in the middle of the night. This is because your kidneys will filter the fluid before the night is up. Try to limit your fluids before bed to see if your symptoms begin to go away. If they don’t, one of the other causes may be the culprit and an awareness of other symptoms will help your doctor narrow down the exact cause. <h3>Enlarged prostate (BPH)</h3> The prostate is the gland that is located around the urethra where it attaches to a man’s bladder. As men age, it’s normal for the prostate to swell until, because of its location, it begins to make it difficult to empty their bladders entirely. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and by age 60 about half of men have it. The exact cause of BPH is not entirely known, but it is noncancerous and treatable with medication, or with surgery in cases where the prostate isn’t responsive to medication. Other common causes of nighttime urination: <ul> <li>Overactive bladder/neurological issues</li> <li>Undiagnosed/untreated diabetes</li> <li>Blood pressure medications</li> <li>Neurological problems</li> <li>Stress/anxiety</li> </ul> <h2>Treatment</h2> In the case of something like BPH, there isn’t much that you can do on your own to alleviate symptoms and you should contact your urologist or primary care physician if you experience any of the above symptoms. Even so, here are some things that you can try to minimize the effect any urinary condition has on your sleep: <ul> <li>Record a bladder diary and look for trends in how often you pee and when, and share these with your doctor.</li> <li>Reduce fluid intake within 4-6 hours of bedtime to minimize the urine you produce while you sleep.</li> <li>Elevate your legs periodically during the day to distribute any fluid that may be concentrated in your legs up to your kidneys for processing. If you don’t, when you lay down in bed the excess fluid from your legs may enter your bloodstream and be processed into urine at night.</li> <li>Encourage healthy sleep so that you aren’t waking up for an unrelated reason and going to the bathroom out of habit.</li> </ul> Not only can these things help you to manage your symptoms from the comfort of your home, but they also can help you to be more aware of your condition when you talk to your doctor about your symptoms so that you can be given a more precise treatment and return to a healthy sleep cycle that isn’t interrupted by your bladder.

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