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Help! I Have a Strong Urge to Urinate, but Nothing Comes Out

Help! I Have a Strong Urge to Urinate, but Nothing Comes Out

Many things, like drinking too much caffeine or overloading on liquids, can trigger frequent urges to urinate. Having a strong and frequent urge to urinate can disrupt your life—but when you get to the bathroom and nothing comes out, the disruption becomes a frustration.

At Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia, our board-certified providers understand how this symptom can negatively affect your quality of life. We also know many possible conditions could be the cause. 

Our team evaluates your symptoms and orders the right tests to give you a clear diagnosis with personalized treatment recommendations. If you’re struggling with a strong urge to urinate with little urine production, schedule a consultation with one of our providers. 

In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the most common reasons you might have this symptom.

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

One of the most common causes of a strong urge to urinate with little urine produced is a UTI, or urinary tract infection. UTIs result when bacteria travel up your urethra to your bladder, and over 8 million Americans require medical attention for this common infection every year. 

In addition to an urgent need to urinate, UTIs usually trigger additional symptoms, including:

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect a UTI since when not treated quickly, the infection can spread. This can cause problems with other organs and may lead to serious health complications.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

Another common cause of a strong urge to urinate without much urine in the bladder is a condition called overactive bladder (OAB). This develops when the muscle that contracts your bladder (the detrusor muscle) misfires frequently.

This means that the muscle sends signals that you have to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full. OAB can also cause other frustrating symptoms, like leaking urine after you’ve emptied your bladder, waking up multiple times at night to pee, and not being able to control your bladder. 

Enlarged prostate (BPH)

For men, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, can change the urgency with which you feel you need to empty your bladder. In fact, the first and most common sign for many men is a frequent, urgent need to empty the bladder. 

This happens since the prostate gland is located under the bladder and around the urethra. The gland grows throughout your lifetime, and when it grows larger than normal size, it puts pressure on your bladder. 

This can make you feel an urgent need to urinate—even if your bladder is mostly empty. It can also cause you to wake up multiple times at night to visit the restroom.

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer can also cause a strong urge to urinate with little-to-no urine produced when you go. Keep in mind, however, that this is not as common as the other condition—especially if this is your only symptom. Generally, bladder cancer also causes other symptoms, including:

Since the symptoms of bladder cancer mimic many other genitourinary issues, it’s important to see a specialist to rule out cancer as a possible cause.

Other possible causes

It’s important to know that many other conditions may cause a strong urge to urinate, including conditions not directly related to genitourinary health, such as:

Generally, uncovering the underlying cause of your symptom and taking steps to solve or minimize the effects can help you reclaim control of your life. 

Get to the bottom of your urge to urinate

It’s clear that different conditions can cause similar symptoms, which makes it essential to see a specialist who can evaluate your health and order additional tests to get to the bottom of your urge to urinate. 

At Urological Associates, our team creates a personalized treatment plan based on your condition and unique situation, since even patients with the same diagnosis may have different needs. 

Don’t struggle with a strong urge to urinate any longer. Get the help you need by scheduling an appointment at Urological Associates in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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