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Urinary symptoms (men)

Many men develop problems with storing or passing urine (urinary symptoms) as they get older. Up to half of adult men have some urinary symptoms up to the age of 40, while almost two-thirds of men between 40 and 60 and more than three-quarters of men aged over 60 are affected.

Not all urinary symptoms are caused by the prostate gland, although it is often blamed. Many men with urinary symptoms worry about prostate cancer, but an enlarged prostate (called benign prostatic hyperplasia) is much more common – and the two are not linked.

So, if you’re not too concerned by your symptoms, you can often manage them very simply by making a few changes to your lifestyle.

So what can you do to get better?

  • Keep a drink diary for a few days - Look at what you drink during a typical day. It can be useful to keep a diary for a few days, making a note of what you drink (for example tea, coffee, and water)
  • Fluid intake: Aim to drink between 1500 and 2000mls per day. Many people think that they need to drink large amounts of fluid each day for good health, but this is untrue and will often make urinary symptoms worse
  • Treatment for most urinary problems is aimed at improving symptoms. So, if you’re not too concerned by your symptoms, you can often manage them very simply by making a few changes to your lifestyle.

Seek medical advice if your symptoms signs include:

  • New urinary symptoms, particularly if they worsen quickly.
  • Cloudy or smelly urine, or if passing urine stings (this may suggest infection).
  • Find your urinary symptoms troubling and over-the-counter medicines don’t help.
  • Blood in your urine.
  • Leak urine (called incontinence).
  • Have difficulty with erections – this is common in men with urinary symptoms.

More information can be found on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions