Problems during urination – common complaints

We don’t always think about it, but our bladder is an important organ that we have to take care of. Although you don’t feel that it is there, it does work and it is necessary to think about how it works.

Functioning of the bladder

The bladder is located in the abdominal cavity and is a sterile organ. The urine is produced by the kidneys. The average volume content is 500 ml. If it is assumed that one consumes the prescribed 2l of fluid per day, this means going to the toilet 4 – 6 times a day. After about 200 – 250 ml, the bladder signals to the brain that it is almost full. There are two sphincter muscles in the bladder, one of which can be controlled. The other is a smooth muscle and is controlled by the nervous system. If the bladder becomes overfull, both muscles will open and the bladder will empty. In that case, control over the bladder will be lost and urine will leave the body through the urethra.

Urine as the first symptom

As strange as it sounds, a lot can be diagnosed based on urine. Urine can provide a clue in many ways. Just keep an eye on its color , smell and consistency . ‘Healthy’ urine is clear in color, has a normal odor and is not cloudy. Morning urine may smell stronger and be more concentrated than daytime urine. That’s because people generally don’t drink much at night. Drinking a lot makes urine less concentrated.
So it can certainly help to occasionally look at the urine while urinating. For example, if it develops a strong odor, it may indicate bacteria in the bladder or urethra. Cloudy urine can also be a symptom of a bacteria. It is not only important to look at the urine but also at the urination itself. How does that work? That brings us to the next part: problems while urinating.

Problems while urinating

Broadly speaking, the bladder consists of two muscles: a smooth muscle and a muscle that we control.
When we get the urge to pee, we pull down our pants (or unzip them for men) and the brain signals the muscle to open. People start to urinate. The urine stream comes in a smooth movement that requires some force. It is possible to urinate the last remains of urine afterwards. For women it can be a useful tip to move your pelvis forward or backward. This positions the bladder in a different angle and makes it possible to urinate everything.
If things do not go as described above, it is advisable to visit your doctor. Some possible discomforts that may occur during urination are:

  • it takes a long time to start urinating (hesitation)
  • passing small amounts of urine all the time (pollakisuria)
  • one urinates blood
  • the urine stream is abnormal



If the problem suddenly occurs and you suddenly can no longer urinate, it is necessary to go to the doctor or emergency room as quickly as possible! Urinary retention or the inability to urinate can have serious consequences if action is not taken quickly! People who are (partially) paralyzed do not feel the full bladder and this entails even more risks.
After the doctor has listened to the complaints, he will ask you to urinate in a pot. The urine can be used to determine whether or not there is an infection. If so, there is a chance that antibiotics will be started. Thanks to the urine, one can also deduce whether one may have diabetes; further blood tests will determine whether this is indeed the case. A blood test is taken regularly to see if any abnormal values are visible. Based on the results, a decision is made whether or not to carry out further tests to arrive at a diagnosis. Some examples of such studies are:

  • ultrasound of the bladder and urinary tract
  • ultrasound of the kidneys
  • cystoscopy (the bladder and urinary tract are examined using an endoscope (tube through which one can look))

The doctor will provide the necessary information regarding the further steps he wishes to take in the treatment. No matter how difficult it is to talk about it, go to the doctor if you have complaints while urinating!

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