What Is Strangury?

Megan Shoop

Strangury is a bladder condition wherein the patient experiences painful, slow urination. The need to urinate may feel overwhelming and urgent, but patients with this condition will not typically be able to void their bladders completely. This may be due to the slow speed of urination, the pain associated with the condition, or both. Most of the time, strangury is an indication of one of many urinary or bladder conditions. Those experiencing this condition should seek medical help immediately. Treatment usually depends on what is causing the strangury, which can range from very mild to relatively serious conditions.

Irritated skin around the head of the penis may be a symptom of strangury.
Irritated skin around the head of the penis may be a symptom of strangury.

Other symptoms associated with strangury may be dark, viscous urine and uncontrollable clenching of the bladder and urethra. This is often caused by swelling and irritation in the urethral lining. In men, this irritation often shows up as inflamed, irritated skin around the head of the penis. Women may experience symptoms similar to a yeast infection, and both sexes may note a thick discharge with urination. It is true that this may be caused by a simple urinary tract infection, but this condition should never be treated at home. Patients should see a doctor as soon as possible to get the correct treatment.

Dialysis may be used as part of strangury treatment.
Dialysis may be used as part of strangury treatment.

Causes of strangury range from kidney stones and prostate enlargement to bacterial infections and even bladder cancer. If cancer is the cause, this is usually an early sign of the disease, so those with this condition may be able to be treated successfully. Strangury may also be caused by something as simple as stress or anxiety. Emotions have long been known to affect the systems in the body, so someone experiencing a very high amount of stress may suddenly have difficulty using the bathroom. In these cases, treatment usually involves therapy, possibly along with antibiotics and creams, to help the patient urinate more comfortably.

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There is no one treatment for strangury. Usually, a doctor chooses a treatment based on what is causing the condition. For a urinary tract infection, a physician will likely prescribe an antibiotic. For kidney stones, he or she may remove the stones and then treat the patient with anti-inflammatory medication. In the case of prostate enlargement, such as in older men, a doctor may not treat the strangury at all. Instead, he or she might prescribe treatment for the prostate only, expecting the bladder condition to clear up along with the prostate problems.

Those who have this condition because of cancer, cysts on the bladder, or another serious condition may have to undergo surgery. While the patient heals, dialysis may be required to help the patient cycle the waste out of his or her body. The doctor may also discuss treatment options, and in cases of more serious conditions, a patient may be treated with drug therapy.

Strangury can be caused by kidney stones.
Strangury can be caused by kidney stones.

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