Why Do I Dribble After Urination & What Can I Do About It?
Dribbling After Urination for a Male – What Causes It?
Involuntary dribbling after urination when you think you’re finished and are on your way out of, or shortly after you’ve left, the bathroom is a type of urinary incontinence called Post Micturition Dribble (PMD). More commonly known as after dribble.
This type of dribbling is different than dribbles that occur at the end of urination that you can shake out while still at the toilet. And, it’s also different than squirts and dribbles from pressure or stress on the bladder, like when coughing or lifting something heavy.
PMD dribble after urination occurs because some of the urine gets left behind in a curve of the urethra behind the base of the penis. It’s commonly caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.
Weaker muscles don’t contract as effectively to push the urine along the urethra, and that’s why some gets left behind. Although PMD can affect both men and women it’s more common in men. And, for men, PMD can also be caused by health conditions like an enlarged prostate or bladder/pelvic infections, or behavioral factors such as having a smokers cough or being overweight.
What Can I Do About It?
You can do something about it, and there are good reasons why you should do something about it. Let’s start with the first thing we think you need to know.
While you may be embarrassed to acknowledge that you are having urinary incontinence symptoms, the reality is that it’s way more common than you may think. Estimates are that as many as 1 in 2 women (50%) and 1 out of 4 men (25%) experience incontinence at some point. No need to feel alone or embarrassed, you’ve got plenty of company.
Why You Should Address it:
- If there is any type of underlying health condition that goes untreated that’s a health risk
- Addressing the situation is a lot less embarrassing and stressful than what could happen if you don’t deal with it
- If these symptoms are preventing you from going out or participating in your favorite hobbies and activities, resolving or knowing how to manage the situation will allow you to get back to doing the things you enjoy
What You Need to Do:
If you haven't seen your doctor yet, or this is new to you, the first thing you need to do is seek professional help from a trained physician or urologist.
Why? Because there are different types of urinary incontinence, PMD is just one of them. And it’s not a disease, it’s a symptom of something, most commonly weakened pelvic floor muscles.
Your physician needs to understand/confirm the type and causal factors of your situation prior to prescribing treatment. Here's some additional context on this for you.
Urinary Incontinence Types
- Stress Incontinence – when pressure or stress is put on the bladder like when sneezing, coughing, laughing, jumping, or physical exertion.
- Urge Incontinence (Overactive bladder) - if you frequently feel the need to go to the bathroom, despite not having a full bladder.
- Mixed Incontinence - having symptoms of both stress and urge incontinence.
- Overflow Incontinence - when your bladder does not empty completely, causing urine leakage later on even when you don’t feel the need to go. Not to be confused with PMD after-dribble which happens within a few minutes after urinating, overflow incontinence can occur any time after you’ve used the restroom.
- Functional Incontinence - when a physical constraint, such as low mobility, makes it difficult to get to the toilet in time. Or if a medical condition, like cognitive issues, causes a person to be unaware of the need to use the bathroom.
- Reflex Incontinence – when bladder muscles contract and there is leakage of urine without any urge. This happens when the nerves that warn the brain that the bladder is filing are damaged, such as with spinal cord damage or neurological impairment.
What Are the Treatment Options for Dribbling after Urination?
Here are some of the treatment options available for urinary incontinence. We are providing this information only to give you an idea of the range of options. Which is/are right for you must be recommended by your physician based on your specific situation; do not try, or act on any treatment options without consulting with an appropriately qualified doctor.
- Taking more time at/on the toilet at the end of urinating to gently shake a few more times could dispel remaining urine. However, if you are experiencing after dribbling (PMD) because of the urine left behind in the urethra, extra shaking won’t help. There is a ‘milking’ technique that can massage the urine along so you can pass it. See details on this Harvard Health page.
- Get protective underwear - it will absorb pee drips after urinating and keep them away from your clothing. Having this protection will reduce your stress level and allow you to live life more freely. There are a range of options available to deal with all levels of incontinence, here’s a quick summary:
- Disposables: These are made of papery like material with absorbent properties.
- For mild to moderate cases of incontinence disposable pads can be used with your regular underwear.
- For heavier needs there are disposable pull-ups/briefs that pull on like regular underwear, but they are also made of papery like material with absorbency built in.
- The heaviest needs require adult diapers. These have adhesive tabs at the sides as the closures.
- Most of the disposable options perform very well (as long as the option you select is appropriate to your level of need), however they can be bulky and uncomfortable.
- Washable and Reusable: These are made from fabric, so are washable and reusable, and are specially designed with features that handle incontinence. This type of protective underwear is suitable for light to moderate needs, and it’s the type that we here at Zorbies specialize in.
- Ours are made from soft, high performance fabrics that make them very comfortable to wear. And, since they look and feel just like regular underwear they take away the added stress that you might feel about having to wear diaper-like protection.
- The first men’s option is called ZorbWear. It has an exclusive incontinence protection system built in, as well as 30% more coverage area than other products in its class. With 2 absorbency levels, LightZorb and ModerateZorb, these products will handle PMD, stress incontinence and up to moderate leaks. ZorbWear is also suitable for sports and exercise so you can stay active without worry.
- PocketWear is our other option. It has a 2-layer pocket to securely hold disposable pads in place. Not only does the pocket reduce pad shifting so you get better coverage, but the layer under the pad is waterproof as extra protection in case urine gets around the pad. PocketWear accommodates a range of pads – from shields for light needs to guards and extra absorbent pads for heavier needs. If your needs change, simply select the appropriate pad.
- Developing a schedule for using the restroom even if there is no urge can help. This type of routine might prevent things from become an urgent matter
- Managing fluid intake around your schedule can also help – e.g. if you’ve got a long drive somewhere don’t tank up on water right before you leave. Make sure you get your recommended amount of fluid, just plan the intake so it doesn’t create a problem. Also note that some fluids – like coffee and alcohol - cause you to produce more urine. Consult with your doctor about fluid do’s and don’t’s and what intake plan is best for you
- Losing weight. Being overweight means that there’s less room for a bladder to expand when it’s filling and that puts pressure on it which can cause leaks
Since weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause incontinence, strengthening them with Kegel exercises can help.
There are a variety of medications that are used to treat symptoms of incontinence. These are prescribed according to the type and severity of incontinence, age, and gender. As such, it is necessary to consult a doctor to get prescribed medication that is suitable for your specific condition.
Treatment of Underlying Conditions
If there is an underlying condition, like an infection, your doctor will be able to treat it to clear up or relieve your symptoms. In some severe cases surgery may be needed. That’s why it’s so important to consult our doctor to understand your situation and get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
Summary of Why You Dribble After Urination and What You Should Do About It
Dribbling after urination in males, what causes it?
- Involuntary dribbling a short time after urination is a type of urinary incontinence called Post Micturition Dribble (PMD) or after dribble.
- It occurs because some of the urine gets left behind in a curve of the urethra behind the base of the penis, so an extra shake or two won’t prevent it from happening.
- It’s most commonly caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles, but could also indicate an underlying health condition, like enlarged prostate.
Incontinence is more common than you may think, you’re not alone.
- Estimates are that about 1 in 2 women (50%) and 1 out of 4 men (25%) experience incontinence.
- Don't be embarrassed by your symptoms, you’ve got plenty of company; and yours won't be the first case your doctor's seen
What you should do about it and Why
- Don’t ignore it, address it. Consult a physician or urologist. There are different types of urinary incontinence, PMD is just one of them. Your physician needs to understand/confirm the type and causal factors of your situation prior to prescribing treatment to relieve the symptoms.
- There is a ‘milking’ technique, see Harvard Health, to help with deal with PMD. Do not attempt this without seeking medical advice first.
- Get protective underwear - it will absorb pee drips after urinating and keep them away from your clothing. This will help manage the situation and reduce some stress
- Once you have sought medical advice and have the right treatment plan to manage your symptoms you'll be able to live life more freely
Bio: Anna Williams is a former senior care support worker, and has spent many years advocating for better mental and physical health care within the senior care community. She volunteers locally, enjoys long walks on her weekends and spending time with her two pups, Tommy and Zadie.
Disclaimer: None of the information in this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
References:1. Causes of urinary incontinence: Nia-Nih article
2. Prevalence of urinary incontinence: Science Direct article