How to tell if your stream is too weak or too frequent

These days, when a man hears about frequent urination and a weak stream he wonders if those warnings on radio and TV apply to him. How is a guy to know if his urinary stream is too weak or too frequent? In a public toilet, he can’t make a comparative study of how he stacks up with the gentleman in the next cubicle without getting in a whole lot of trouble.

So here’s a practical method every man can use in the privacy of his home to measure just how weak or frequent his stream actually is. You will need certain equipment. First get a single sheet of lined paper and a pencil. After that get a plastic 16-ounce (about 500 cc) measuring cup from your supermarket. The only remaining equipment you will need is a watch with a second hand, such as a stopwatch or a smart phone with a built-in stopwatch and a simple calculator. The measurements can be easily done for as long or short a period of time you have but do not have to extend beyond twenty-four hours. If you only have a morning or an afternoon, that’s fine. If you forget a few times, that’s OK too.

The actual measurements are simple; first mark down on the top line of the paper near the left side what time it is that you are about to urinate. Then get ready with the stopwatch; an understanding spouse can really be helpful here. Urinate into the plastic measuring container starting and stopping the stopwatch to mark the beginning and end of your urination. Write the number of ounces voided and the number of seconds each urination took on the same line that you recorded the time. This can be repeated as often as you wish; it doesn’t matter if you miss a few as long as you get a batch of at least two consecutive readings of individual urinations, each on its own line for each particular time. If you forget and miss recording one, just start another batch the next you have to go. Wash out the measuring container after each use.

Now for the fun part; figure out how much time went by between “consecutive” urinations. The time interval between two consecutive urinations is normally at least two hours; less is considered to be urinary frequency. Next look at the volume of urine you made each time. If you usually void less than 500 cc each time, you may have a problem. Finally, divide each volume voided by the number of seconds that that urination took; the result should be at least one-half ounce (about 15 cc) per second or better. If your stream is too slow and you have frequent, weak, low volume urinations, it’s time to discuss this with your doctor.

Have a question? Call Dr. Okun 718-241-6767

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