Difficulty Passing Urine

Welcome to this Decision Guide about Difficulty Passing Urine.

Difficulty passing urine is a common problem. It can be caused by conditions that affect the kidneys, bladder or prostate gland (in men). Urinary tract infections, prostate problems, and kidney stones are common triggers for this problem to develop. In some people, more than one condition is present.

Anyone who experiences difficulty passing urine for more than 24 to 48 hours should see a doctor. This guide is intended to provide helpful information while you are awaiting evaluation for this problem, or to add to what you may have already learned after you have seen your doctor.

Please keep in mind that this information cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with your own health care provider.

Click here to begin.

Difficulty passing urine can be triggered by different problems in men and women. Only men have a prostate gland (which can become infected or enlarged), whereas women are more prone to simple bladder infections (cystitis). Therefore, it's helpful to start by finding out if you are a woman or a man.

Are you a woman or a man?

I am a woman.

I am a man.

In men, difficulty passing urine is usually caused by prostate gland problems, such as enlargement of the prostate or a prostate infection. However, there are a number of other conditions that can contribute to this problem.

Let's start by fining out if you might have a less common problem -- kidney failure. A number of symptoms can signal kidney problems, but the most worrisome is that your kidneys produce much less urine than normal.

Over the past 48 hours, are you passing less than two cups (16 ounces, or about 500 milliliters) of urine per day?

Yes, I am passing less than two cups of urine per day.

No, I am passing more than two cups of urine per day.

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