Voiding disorders are common in women. As many as 14% of women who present at the Urogynaecology Centre with bladder symptoms were found to have voiding disorders. It may be defined by an abnormally slow flow of urine during voiding, when the maximum urine flow rate is less than 15 ml per second, or a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder, when the residual urine volume is over 30 ml, within one minute post voiding.
It is important to diagnose voiding disorders because if left unrecognised, it may predispose one to frequent urinary tract infections. In more severe case, the kidneys may be damaged by the continuous back pressure that is created by a full bladder.
Symptoms of voiding disorders include:
Patients with voiding disorders may also present with symptoms such as frequency, urgency, passing urine more than once at night, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infection. Some patients may have associated prolapse of the womb, bladder or rectum.
There are many causes of voiding disorders in women. Some may be temporary while others may be permanent. The causes include:
When you consult your doctor, a detailed history is first obtained, followed by a comprehensive urogynaecological and neurological examination to ascertain the possible causes of voiding disorders. Various investigations may be ordered and these include:
Voiding disorders are common in women. If left unrecognised, it may lead to permanent damage to the bladder and kidneys. Hence treatment should be started early and the causes dealt with promptly.