Older men can almost certainly expect some minor urinary problems at some point in their lives, but how worried should young men be that have a weak urine stream? With a few exceptions (bladder cancer or serious viral infection), most incontinence issues are embarrassing and possibly an inconvenience, but they are rarely life threatening. A weak stream is just one of these.
In men past the age of 40, the prostate is a common cause of a decrease urinary flow. As the prostate swells, it can squeeze the urethra and greatly reduce the amount of urine that is able to squeeze through. While younger men rarely have such prostate problems, this is one area to consider. Although not common, younger men can experience prostate issues. Doctors are often reluctant to administer a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test to a man in his 20s, but many will if a patient insists. A digital rectal exam to check the prostate is usually an option.
Assuming the prostate is not enlarged, the next step is to consider any possible blockages. This can be due to swelling, scar tissue or just a birth defect. Often a cytoscope will be inserted all the way down the urethra and into the bladder to check for anything unusual. Any blockage can easily be spotted and biopsied or examined in the future.
One of the last tests will be flow rate and pressure. If the detrusor muscle is causing bladder weakness there are tools a doctor can use to determine this. The force and amount of urine being expelled can be reliably measured and compared against known standards. A weak detrusor muscle is harder to work around but there are some medications, exercises, and surgical options that may help this muscle work better.
In short, a competent urologist can set any man’s mind at ease and offer real solutions. While a weak urine stream may cause a young man to worry, again, it is rarely life threatening. If a male notices blood in the urine with no pain or with abdominal pain accompanying it then he should get to a doctor absolutely as soon as possible. Otherwise, a short clinic visit can answer a whole host of questions and offer many treatment options.
by Bob Parker