Urine Retention: Tight Pelvic Floor Muscles & Stretches

Posted by terwifwoods @terwifwoods, Nov 27, 2021

Hello,

I am a forty some year-old man who was otherwise healthy until a few months ago. I had no known medical issues and would work out at least five days a week. I have been dealing with urinary retention and voiding dysfunction. I have seen two urologists, general practitioners, and a physical therapist. I have also had a cystoscopy and continue self-catheterization. I have a lot of questions, but one thing is for certain: I have a tight urethral sphincter muscle and a tight pelvic floor. I have been doing pelvic floor stretches and general stretching of my hips religiously for at least two months. I have not noticed any results regarding my ability to urinate and void more effectively.

Here's the million dollar question:

Have ANY MEN out there with urinary retention issues had any success with doing pelvic floor stretches? If so, what worked best, and what was the time frame?

***It has been difficult to find studies/articles and other men willing to discuss urinary and pelvic floor issues. Time to speak up fellas!

Thanks!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Men's Health group.

@terwifwoods, I have a different issue with BPH but I can relate to the problem. You mentioned you have been doing pelvic floor exercises Have you included Kegel exercises for Men? Here's some information I found that might be helpful.

"Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Try it a few times in a row. When your muscles get stronger, try doing Kegel exercises while sitting, standing or walking." — Kegel exercises for men: Understand the benefits – Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/in-depth/kegel-exercises-for-men/art-20045074

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Nothing has worked for me and I am tired of self-catheterization; I wish there something to help as it is embarrassing in public bathrooms.

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This is an extreme measure, but after years of trouble voiding, and without my knowing it, I was retaining so much urine that it backed up into my kidneys and I ended up in acute renal failure–at that point, could not urinate all. But the result was my insurance covered HoLEP surgery due to medical necessity, which completely solved my problem. A few side affects, but nothing major. Now I completely pretty much empty my bladder when urinating.

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Thanks for the replies. My urologist has confirmed my prostate is fine. I have not been tested for my PSA.

Has any men had success with pelvic floor exercises?

I have noticed a slight increase in flexibility doing the pelvic floor and hip stretches. Believe it or not, I started acupuncture and noticed I can void more urine on my own. I still have to self-cath three times a day though….

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@terwifwoods

Thanks for the replies. My urologist has confirmed my prostate is fine. I have not been tested for my PSA.

Has any men had success with pelvic floor exercises?

I have noticed a slight increase in flexibility doing the pelvic floor and hip stretches. Believe it or not, I started acupuncture and noticed I can void more urine on my own. I still have to self-cath three times a day though….

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I just found these Mayo forums, after recently being diagnosed with it seems very similar problems as you described – chronic retention and distended bladder, incomplete voiding, weak flow. Like you, fortunately kidney function OK, but now cathing frequently to reduce bladder volumes and hope the muscle rehabilitates. PSA OK, and prostate surgery not justified, so I'm about to begin pelvic floor therapy next week. Major blow to my current and future quality of life. I'm willing to spend months working on this, or more, but still VERY interested in pelvic floor exercise success stories for male incomplete voiding, which seem hard to find. By the way, self-cathing revealed that most of my urine production occurs during sleep at night, which has to be fixed as well … I'm curious about your progress since this December post, if you can share.

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@emit

I just found these Mayo forums, after recently being diagnosed with it seems very similar problems as you described – chronic retention and distended bladder, incomplete voiding, weak flow. Like you, fortunately kidney function OK, but now cathing frequently to reduce bladder volumes and hope the muscle rehabilitates. PSA OK, and prostate surgery not justified, so I'm about to begin pelvic floor therapy next week. Major blow to my current and future quality of life. I'm willing to spend months working on this, or more, but still VERY interested in pelvic floor exercise success stories for male incomplete voiding, which seem hard to find. By the way, self-cathing revealed that most of my urine production occurs during sleep at night, which has to be fixed as well … I'm curious about your progress since this December post, if you can share.

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Hi @emit, have you started pelvic floor therapy? How’s it going?

I’m hoping @terwifwoods @stevegrinstead @paul55 and @gcranor return to share their experiences.

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@emit

I just found these Mayo forums, after recently being diagnosed with it seems very similar problems as you described – chronic retention and distended bladder, incomplete voiding, weak flow. Like you, fortunately kidney function OK, but now cathing frequently to reduce bladder volumes and hope the muscle rehabilitates. PSA OK, and prostate surgery not justified, so I'm about to begin pelvic floor therapy next week. Major blow to my current and future quality of life. I'm willing to spend months working on this, or more, but still VERY interested in pelvic floor exercise success stories for male incomplete voiding, which seem hard to find. By the way, self-cathing revealed that most of my urine production occurs during sleep at night, which has to be fixed as well … I'm curious about your progress since this December post, if you can share.

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I am curious about "most of my urine production occurs during sleep at night, which has to be fixed as well" I have wondered why my urine production is so high at night? Please elaborate, I do have BPH.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @emit, have you started pelvic floor therapy? How’s it going?

I’m hoping @terwifwoods @stevegrinstead @paul55 and @gcranor return to share their experiences.

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Happy to comment, Colleen. I have not had a big issue since having HoLEP surgery, but am trying to do kegel exercises to strengthen those muscles. But I wondered about Emit's comment about prostrate surgery not justified. If he is having to use a catheter to urinate, normally that would mean doing so 4-5 times a day to avoid heavy urine retention and so avoid the urine backing up Into his kidneys. For me this meant prostrate surgery of some kind was deemed a medical necessity and so was covered by insurance. Prostrate surgery, including HoLEP, may seem scary, but it a lot better than kidney disease. Emit, I would encourage you to look into that possibility, although I only know about my own experience.

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@wa34937

I am curious about "most of my urine production occurs during sleep at night, which has to be fixed as well" I have wondered why my urine production is so high at night? Please elaborate, I do have BPH.

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Do you mean you are needing to get up at night to pee more often? Urine production is a 24/7 thing in the body and at night you are processing what you drank earlier. I stop drinking fluid at 1800 but still get up x3 to pee but I drink a ton of water daily and always have. I have no urinary issues and pee like a race horse. Did you get your PSA checked?

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My PSA consistently hovers around 1.0, my annual digital inspection reports normal age related prostrate enlargement. My cardiologist/internist has encouraged me to drink 90 oz water daily which is possibly exacerbating this issue. It's disrupting my sleep. I stop taking liquids in the evening, I'm tapering my water consumption to see the effect. Thanks for the response.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @emit, have you started pelvic floor therapy? How’s it going?

I’m hoping @terwifwoods @stevegrinstead @paul55 and @gcranor return to share their experiences.

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Just returned to this forum … Thanks Colleen for responding and helping others to respond. My pelvic floor therapy begins a week from now.

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