Bladder Problems for Men

Updated July 19, 2017

Bladder problems are common in men as they age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia usually begins in men who are in their 40s and 50s. Problems associated with renal calculi are common in men 60 and older. Many problems are closely associated and may be the result of an underlying issue. However, each problem may develop independently of other pathologies.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are the crystallisation of minerals in the urine. This is the result of concentrated urine that may result from urinary tract infections, prostatic hyperplasia or nerve damage. The development of bladder stones may be asymptomatic, however, they can affect the emptying of urine from the bladder. This can result in pelvic pain, frequent and painful urination, incontinence, difficulty urinating, hematuria and penile pain.

Bladder Outlet Obstruction

Bladder outlet obstruction is the blockage of the flow of urine from the bladder. This has several aetiologies, including benign prostatic hyperplasia, bladder tumours, bladder cysts and bladder stones. Bladder outlet obstruction may be a sign of more serious problems, like the presence of renal calculi, and can be associated with renal failure.


Nocturia is frequent, nighttime urination. Benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostatic cancer may cause bladder problems in men because the prostate presses on the urethra in both conditions. Overactive bladder is the urgent need to frequently urinate and can occur during the night. Urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis and diabetes may also cause nocturia.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer may be diagnosed by ruling out other causes of bladder symptoms. Visible blood in the urine without accompanying pain can be a sign of bladder cancer, although bladder cancer may be asymptomatic. The location of the tumour may lead to other bladder problems such as urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction. Symptoms may evolve to the inability of the bladder to retain an adequate amount of urine and pain.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine from the bladder. While it is common, it is not a normal condition. It is also treatable. There are several causes of urinary incontinence in men. The nerves controlling the bladder may become damaged. Nerve damage may result as a diabetes complication, stroke, neurological disease or injury to the spinal cord. Urinary incontinence may also result from an enlarged prostate, prostate surgery or radiation as a treatment for prostate cancer.

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About the Author

Diane Ursu has an associate's degree in diagnostic medical sonography and worked as a sonographer for five years. She is also a mountain biking advocate and has sat on the board of directors for multiple non-profit organizations.