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Men and LUTS

Nearly all men will eventually suffer from lower urinary tract symptoms, or LUTS, in his lifetime. The commonality of LUTS probably is why these symptoms are often perceived as a normal part of aging. But they are not. 

We men often are reluctant to seek medical care, especially when it feels like "no big deal." Science tells us it’s probably related to stereotypical perceptions of masculinity; that we regard ourselves as tough and independent1-3 and therefore not needing to be fussed over. Other reasons also might include feelings of embarrassment and a lack of time to take care of ourselves4,5.

If we seek medical care, we often do it later than we should have—causing unnecessary suffering and pain. Also, many of us get a poorer outcome from treatments1-3 the longer we wait. Many of the symptoms of LUTS are caused by incomplete bladder emptying. The good news is that it is very easily treatable, and won't have a huge impact on your daily life.

What is LUTS?

LUTS is an abbreviation of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and it is a collective term for symptoms like nightly visits to the toilet, weak urinary flow, increased frequency, incontinence, dribbling, and also problems related to sex.

LUTS commonly is divided into three groups: 

Storage

In this group we find bladder problems like increased frequency, urgency, nocturia and incontinence. Nocturia means voiding at night and is the single most common symptom of LUTS. 

Voiding

This group includes symptoms that have to do with urinating, such as weak urinary flow, hesitancy and straining. 

Post micturition symptoms  

Sometimes you have remaining symptoms after your visit to the toilet. Incomplete emptying / residual urine and dribbling are examples of post micturition symptoms. 

LUTS also include symptoms associated with sexual intercourse and pain.

luts diagram

Sources

1. Banks. BMJ. 2001;323:1058-60
2. Kim. World J Mens Health. 2015;33:45-9
3. Pinkhasov et al. Int J Clin Pract. 2010;64:475-87
4. Ojewola et al. World J Mens Health. 2016;34:200-208
5. Sarma et al. J Urol. 2008;180:227-32.

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