Why Do I Have To Push To Pee Female

According to the NIDDK , similar lifestyle changes and control techniques can also help treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. A doctor may also prescribe medication to treat an enlarged prostate, and in rarer cases, they may suggest surgery.

Everything You Need to Know About Urinary Hesitancy

If you have trouble starting to urinate or maintaining urine flow, you may have urinary hesitancy. It can occur in men and women at any age, but it’s most common in older men.

In some cases, it may lead to urinary retention. This happens when you’re unable to urinate. It can be very serious.

Urinary hesitancy can result from a variety of medical conditions. If you experience it, make an appointment with your doctor. They can help pinpoint the cause of your condition and offer treatment options.

There are many possible causes of urinary hesitancy. In men, the condition is usually caused by a benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In both men and women, it may also result from:

  • bladder muscle disorders
  • nerve damage
  • surgeries
  • infections
  • psychological issues
  • certain medications
  • a cancer tumor obstructing the urethra or urinary bladder

Enlarged prostate

If you’re male, you have a prostate gland. It surrounds your urethra. Your urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body.

Many men develop a benign enlarged prostate as they get older. As it swells within the center of the prostate gland, it puts pressure on the prostatic urethra. This pressure makes it harder to start and maintain the flow of urine.

Nervous system disorders and nerve damage

Damaged or diseased nerves can also interfere with your flow of urine. Nerves can be damaged by:

  • accidents
  • stroke
  • childbirth
  • diabetes
  • brain or spinal cord infections

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other nervous system disorders can also lead to nerve damage.


Anesthesia administered during surgery can impair some of your nerves. This can result in urinary difficulties afterward. Surgery on your bladder, kidneys, or urethra can also create scar tissue that constricts your urethra. This can cause urinary hesitancy.


Prostatitis is common in men. It’s inflammation of the prostate gland that could be due to infection. It can cause the prostate to swell and put pressure on your urethra. This can result in urinary hesitancy.

Urinary tract infections (UTI) and sexually transmitted infections (STI) can also lead to problems with urine flow in both men and women.

Shy bladder syndrome (paruresis)

In rare cases, urinary hesitancy may be a sign of a psychological condition, known as shy bladder syndrome (paruresis). If you feel uncomfortable about urinating in the presence of others, you may find it hard to urinate in certain situations.

For example, you may experience urinary hesitancy when using public bathrooms.


Certain medications can also cause problems with urination. For example, certain cold treatment medications, nasal decongestants, and anti-allergy medications can affect your urination.

Anticholinergics, which are used to treat stomach cramps, muscle spasms, and incontinence, can also cause urinary retention and hesitancy. Antidepressants may also affect your urinary habits.

If you’re experiencing persistent or recurring urinary hesitancy, visit your doctor. They can help determine the cause of your condition and recommend treatment to help relieve your symptoms.

In some cases, urinary hesitancy may be a sign of an emergency medical condition. You should seek immediate help if you have trouble urinating along with:

You should also get emergency help if you can’t urinate at all. This condition is called urinary retention. It can become very serious if not treated quickly enough.

To diagnose the underlying cause of urinary hesitancy or other problems with urination, your doctor will likely start by taking your medical history. For example, they’ll want to know:

  • how long you’ve been experiencing urinary hesitancy
  • if it developed gradually or suddenly
  • if your urine flow is weak
  • if anything seems to relieve or worsen your symptoms

They may also ask you about other symptoms that you’ve experienced. Be sure to mention any other medical conditions that you’ve been diagnosed with and any medications or supplements that you’re taking.

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Your doctor may also order one or more tests to help determine the cause of your symptoms. For example, they may collect a sample of your urine for analysis.

They may swab the inside of your urethra. In some cases, they may need to insert a small flexible tube, known as a catheter, into your urethra. This allows them to collect a sample of urine directly from your bladder.

Your doctor may also conduct one or more of the following urodynamic studies:

  • Uroflowmetry measures the volume and flow rate of urine expelled when you empty your bladder.
  • Pressure flow testing requires a catheter to measure the pressure in your bladder, which is then compared to the flow rate during urination.
  • Video urodynamic testing uses a special fluid placed via catheter into your bladder in order to create contrast imaging during filling and emptying of the bladder.

If you’re male, your doctor may conduct a rectal prostate exam. They may also create an image of your prostate using an ultrasound or other imaging technology.

Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your symptoms. Depending on your diagnosis, they may recommend medications, surgery, or other treatments.

In some cases, home remedies may help relieve your symptoms. For example, it may help to place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your lower abdomen. This can help relax your muscles and may improve your urine flow.

Gently massaging the area may also help increase urine flow. It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids.

If you ignore problems with urine flow, your symptoms may get worse. Urination may become difficult to the point of impossible, leading to urine retention. This condition can be painful and serious.

It’s best to visit your doctor as soon as you experience problems with your flow of urine. Following their recommended treatment plan may help improve your short- and long-term outlook.

Ask your doctor for more information about your specific diagnosis, treatment options, and outlook.

Last medically reviewed on July 31, 2019

What causes a constant urge to pee?

A range of conditions can affect the way a person urinates. If a person has a constant urge to pee but little comes out when they go, they may have an infection or other health condition.

If a person frequently needs to pee but little comes out when they try to go, it can be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI), pregnancy, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate.

Less often, some forms of cancer can cause this.

This article looks at the possible causes, diagnosis, treatments, and prevention of common urinary problems.

Image of a WC sign for a person who has a constant urge to pee but little comes out

UTIs commonly cause a frequent urge to pee. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , UTIs can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, but they most often affect the bladder. This is also called cystitis.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) note that UTIs are very common, especially in females. A person can develop a UTI when bacteria enter the urinary tract.

If a person has a UTI, they may have a frequent urge to pee, even when little comes out when they try to go.

According to the CDC , other symptoms of a UTI include:

  • a burning sensation when urinating
  • a low body temperature
  • cloudy or bloody urine
  • cramping in the lower abdomen or groin


A person can reduce their risk of developing a UTI by:

  • urinating when they need to
  • urinating before and after sex
  • wiping from front to back
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • cleaning the anus and genitals every day
  • avoiding douching or using hygiene sprays
  • avoiding wearing underwear that can trap moisture
  • taking showers rather than baths

According to the charity March of Dimes, if a woman is pregnant, she might feel the urge to urinate more frequently.

In the early stage of pregnancy, this is because the body releases a hormone that increases blood flow to the pelvic region.

Later in pregnancy, women may feel the need to urinate more often due to the fetus putting pressure on their bladder.

If a person has an overactive bladder, they may feel the urge to urinate even when there is little urine in the bladder.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , having an overactive bladder causes the bladder muscles to squeeze too often. This can lead to the frequent need to urinate.

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Various neurological conditions can cause overactive bladder, but sometimes, the cause can be unknown.

The prostate is a gland near the bladder that produces semen. As males age, their prostate becomes larger.

As the prostate grows, it can put pressure on their bladder. This can mean that a man may feel the need to urinate more often, even if there is little urine in the bladder.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) , symptoms rarely occur before the age of 40.

If someone has an enlarged prostate, it can also block their urethra. This is the tube that carries urine and semen through the penis.

Other symptoms of an enlarged prostate can include:

  • difficulty starting urinating
  • a weak stream of urine
  • dribbling at the end of urinating
  • pain after ejaculating or while urinating

If a person frequently needs to pee but little comes out, it could be a sign of cancer. Cancers that can affect peeing include bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.

The symptoms for all these cancers can be similar to other urinary tract conditions, so it is important to speak to a medical professional if urination issues arise.

Share on Pinterest A doctor can perform various tests to determine if a UTI is present.

According to the HHS, a doctor can do various tests to determine whether a person has a UTI. These tests include:

  • a dipstick test, which looks for substances in a person’s urine that might suggest a UTI
  • a urinalysis, which looks for cells, bacteria, and other substances in the urine
  • a urine culture, which can determine what type of bacteria are causing the UTI

A doctor will also take a person’s full medical history and perform a physical examination.

If the doctor rules out a UTI or finds signs of cancer during a physical examination, they may suggest further medical procedures to determine what is causing the person’s symptoms.

According to the NIDDK , doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs. These are very effective at getting rid of the infection causing the person to need to pee even when little comes out.

According to a study paper in the journal Research and Reports in Urology , the first line of treatment for an overactive bladder is making lifestyle changes and learning control techniques. These can include:

  • not drinking too much water
  • avoiding caffeinated drinks that can cause a person to pee more frequently
  • stopping smoking
  • taking steps to reduce chronic health conditions that can increase urine production
  • doing pelvic floor exercises

According to the NIDDK , similar lifestyle changes and control techniques can also help treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. A doctor may also prescribe medication to treat an enlarged prostate, and in rarer cases, they may suggest surgery.

If a person needs to urinate more often due to cancer, then according to the National Cancer Institute , the treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

Many conditions can make a person feel as though they need to urinate, even with an empty bladder.

For most people, medications, lifestyle changes, and coping strategies can either solve the underlying problem or help minimize the effect the symptoms have on their daily life.

Because problems peeing can be a sign of more serious health conditions, it is important to speak with a doctor to work out the cause of the issue.

Last medically reviewed on March 26, 2019

  • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Pregnancy / Obstetrics
  • Urology / Nephrology
  • Cat 1
  • urinaryhealth

How we reviewed this article:

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • Bladder cancer symptoms, tests, prognosis, and stages (PDQ)–patient version. (2018).
  • Cancer treatment. (2015).
  • Common discomforts of pregnancy. (2016).
  • Need relief from overactive bladder symptoms? (2015).
  • Ovarian cancer. (2018).
  • Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). (2014).
  • Treatment. (2017).
  • Understanding prostate changes: A health guide for men. (n.d.)
  • Urinary tract infection. (2015).
  • Urinary tract infections. (2019).
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI). (2018).
  • Willis-Gray, M. G., et al. (2016). Evaluation and management of overactive bladder: Strategies for optimizing care.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population [BiomedCentral.com]; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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