Inflammation or infection of the prostate gland (prostatitis)
Nervous system disorders
Recent surgery (postoperative retention)
Scar tissue (stricture)
Shy or bashful bladder syndrome (being unable to urinate when another person is in the room)
Urinary tract infection
Monitor, record, and report your urination patterns to your doctor.
Apply heat to your lower abdomen (below your belly button and above the pubic bone). This is where the bladder sits. The heat relaxes muscles and aids urination.
Massage or place light pressure over your bladder to stimulate emptying.
Drink plenty of fluids.
For infections, you will need antibiotics from your doctor. Symptoms of a possible infection include burning or pain with urination, frequent urination, cloudy urine, and a sense of urgency (strong, sudden urge to urinate).
Pay close attention to any medicines or supplements you take.
Treatment for urinary hesitancy depends on the cause. Often, medications such as alpha-blockers can relieve the symptoms. If you have a bacterial infection, your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics. You may need surgery to relieve a prostate obstruction (see TURP).
Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: History, physical examination, and urinalysis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 3.
Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.