Bladder outlet obstruction



What is bladder outlet obstruction?

Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a blockage at the base of the bladder. It reduces or stops the flow of urine into the urethra-the tube that carries urine out of the body.

How common is bladder outlet obstruction?

This condition is most common in aging men. It is often caused by BPH. Bladder stones and bladder cancer are also more commonly seen in men than women. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction?

The common symptoms of bladder outlet obstruction are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Continuous feeling of a full bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Inability to urinate (acute urinary retention)
  • Pain during urination (dysuria)
  • Problems starting urination (urinary hesitancy)
  • Slow urine flow
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urine stream that starts and stops (urinary intermittency)
  • Waking up at night to urinate (nocturia)
  • Nausea, fatigue, and fluid retention if kidney failure occurs

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes bladder outlet obstruction?

Common causes of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) include:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate
  • Bladder stones
  • Bladder tumors (cancer)
  • Pelvic tumors (cervix, prostate, uterus, rectum)
  • Urethral stricture (scar tissue)
  • Less common causes include:
  • Cystocele (when the bladder falls into the vagina)
  • Foreign objects
  • Posterior urethral valves (birth defect in males)
  • Urethral spasms
  • Urethral diverticula

Risk factors

What increases my risk for bladder outlet obstruction?

There are many risk factors for bladder outlet obstruction, such as:

Age: As a man ages, his chance of developing these diseases increases greatly.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is bladder outlet obstruction diagnosed?

BOO may be suspected if there is abnormal abdominal growth or a larger than normal bladder. Also, men with an enlarged prostate gland or women with cystocele (prolapsed bladder) can be diagnosed with BOO.

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests to check for kidney damage
  • Urine cultures to test for infection
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder to find where the urine blockage is occurring
  • Urine testing to look for blood in the urine
  • X-rays to look for narrowing of the urethra

How is bladder outlet obstruction treated?

Treatment of bladder outlet obstruction depends on the cause of the problem. For most cases, a tube called a catheter is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. The catheter will relieve the blockage.

Sometimes a suprapubic catheter (a tube placed through the belly area into the bladder) is needed to drain the bladder.

Surgery is most often needed for long-term treatment of bladder outlet obstruction. However, many of the diseases that cause this problem can be treated with medicines. Talk to your health care provider about possible treatments.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage bladder outlet obstruction?

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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