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Bladder Neck Dysfunction - Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment

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Bladder neck dysfunction is a condition in which the bladder neck fails to open while urinating. It is commonly seen in men. Read the article to learn more.

Published At January 4, 2023
Reviewed AtJuly 12, 2023

What Is Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

The urinary bladder is one of the most crucial organs of the urinary system. It is a balloon-like structure connected to the kidneys on one end and the urethra on the other. The ureters are tube-like structures that connect the urinary bladder to the kidneys. The urinary bladder receives urine from the ureters. The urethra forms a connecting link between the urinary bladder and the outside world. The urine is drained from the urinary tract through the urethra. The junction where the urinary bladder meets the urethra is known as the bladder neck. It consists of muscles that contract and relax to facilitate urine drainage.

However, the problem arises when the bladder neck does not function well or is blocked and inhibits urine flow. The urine might flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections. It is commonly seen in men above 50 years of age and needs to be treated at the earliest.

What Are the Causes of Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

If the bladder neck is blocked or fails to function, the patient experiences problems related to the urinary tract. The causes of bladder neck dysfunction have been described below:

  1. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - The prostate gland is one of the most important organs of the male reproductive system. It is located near the neck of the urinary bladder. The condition in which the gland becomes enlarged is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia. The urethra mainly traverses through the middle portion of the prostate. The bladder outlet narrows if the gland becomes enlarged or swollen, resulting in restricted urine flow.

  2. Prolapsed Bladder - One of the most common causes of bladder neck obstruction in females. The condition in which the bladder slips into the vagina is known as bladder prolapse. It mainly occurs when the vaginal wall becomes weak due to menopause, vaginal delivery, and multiple pregnancies.

  3. Presence of Scar Tissues - Scar tissue forms in the bladder or the urethra as a side-effect of radiation treatment and prostate surgery. These tissues block the neck of the bladder and make urination difficult.

  4. Stress Urinary Incontinence Surgery - The urine leakage before the person reaches the toilet is known as urinary incontinence. It is treated surgically by bladder neck suspension and sling surgery. The bladder neck might get damaged during the surgery resulting in severe problems in the urinary tract.

  5. Presence of Cysts and Tumors - A tumor is a mass formed due to uncontrolled cell division. On the other hand, cysts are multiple fluid-filled sacs that form anywhere in the body. Tumors in the rectum, vagina, and urethra might block the bladder neck as the urinary bladder is located close to these organs.

  6. Urethral Stricture - It is a condition in which the urethra becomes narrow. Urethral stricture blocks urine flow from the bladder and increases the risk of urinary tract infections.

  7. Constipation - Constipation is when the stools become hard and cannot pass through the body. These hard stools put pressure on the bladder neck, making it difficult for the muscles to work and drain the urine to the urethra.

  8. Congenital Defects - Bladder neck dysfunction can also be present by birth due to defects in the urinary bladder or the surrounding structures.

What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

Bladder neck dysfunction makes it difficult for the urinary bladder to drain urine into the urethra. The following signs and symptoms are seen in bladder neck dysfunction:

  • Difficulty in starting the flow of urine.

  • The patient cannot urinate completely, even after getting a strong urge.

  • The presence of pain in the lower back and abdominal region is commonly seen.

  • Nocturia, or the urge to pass urine at night, occurs frequently.

  • The patient rushes to the toilet frequently but cannot empty the bladder at once.

What Methods Are Used to Diagnose Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

The patient presents with similar symptoms in bladder neck dysfunction, urinary tract infections, and other conditions that affect the urinary system. The methods used to diagnose bladder neck dysfunctions have been described below:

  1. Blood Tests - Blood test helps the physician check the infections in the body.

  2. Urine Culture - The patient collects urine in a container or a sterile bag provided by the hospital. The urine sample is left unattended for a few days to allow the bacteria to grow. If bacterial growth is rapid, a urinary tract infection can be suspected.

  3. Cystoscopy - It is one of the most effective methods used to diagnose bladder-neck dysfunction. A cystoscope is a small instrument with a camera that allows one to view the inner lining of the urinary system.

  4. Renal and Bladder Ultrasound - In this procedure, sound waves are sent to the kidney, and images of the kidney, ureters, and urinary bladder are obtained. The doctor looks at the images on the computer. This image will give him an idea about the presence of stones, tumors, wounds, or anything that leads to the blockage of the urinary system.

  5. Video Urodynamics - It is an imaging test used to detect urinary bladder problems. The doctor initiates the procedure by inserting a tube called a catheter into the urethra. Next, the contrast material or a dye is injected into the bladder through the catheter. X-rays are taken as the bladder becomes full. The patient is asked to urinate, and the X-rays are taken again. This test helps to observe bladder neck dysfunction and how the bladder works when it is obstructed.

How Is Bladder Neck Dysfunction Managed?

Bladder neck dysfunction can be treated with medications and surgery. The treatment option depends upon the cause and the severity of the condition. Both the surgical and non-surgical methods have been described below:

  • Antibiotics - Prazosin and Phenoxybenzamine are mainly used to treat bladder neck dysfunction. They are alpha-blockers that work to relax the muscles of the urinary bladder. As the bladder muscles are relaxed, the urine flows out of the bladder smoothly.

  • Self-Catheterization - As the name suggests, the procedure is performed by the patient. Self-catheterization is also known as clean intermittent catheterization and helps the patient to pass urine when he finds it difficult to urinate. Finally, the urine drains out of the body, and the catheter is removed. The procedure needs to be repeated several times during the day.

  • Surgery - Surgical intervention is required when the medications and self-catheterization methods fail to resolve the condition. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. First, a small cut or an incision is made in the bladder neck. Next, a tube known as a resectoscope is inserted into the urinary bladder. It contains a camera that helps to view the neck of the bladder. It also contains a tool that uses an electric current to remove the tissue blocking the bladder neck.

What Are the Complications of Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

If the bladder neck dysfunction is left untreated for a long time, the bladder becomes weak permanently. The complications of bladder neck obstruction are listed below:

  1. The risk of urinary tract infections increases because the urine remains in the body and becomes a potential source of bacterial infection.

  2. If the bladder becomes weak, a pouch known as a bladder diverticula forms in the urinary bladder.

  3. Hydronephrosis, or the swelling of the kidneys, occurs because of the pressure exerted by the urine. As a result, the kidneys get damaged permanently.

  4. The person might experience urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) for a prolonged period as bladder control is lost.


Bladder neck dysfunction is when the urine does not flow freely through the bladder as the muscles are not working properly. Bladder neck dysfunction is not life-threatening but requires treatment at the earliest. It is because the bladder becomes weak if the condition is left untreated for a long. There are no home remedies available to cure bladder neck dysfunction. However, some medications relax the bladder muscles and allow the passage of urine. Surgical intervention is rarely required when the medications and self-catheterization methods fail to achieve the desired results. Hence, the patient must not worry about the condition and consult the doctor at the earliest to avoid complications.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Natural Treatment for Bladder Neck Obstruction?

The therapeutic and pain-relieving qualities of essential oils, such as peppermint oil, are well documented in the literature. Nevertheless, bladder problems can also be treated with peppermint oil. In clinical studies conducted in 2018, peppermint oil treats postpartum urinary retention in female patients.


What Are the Ways to Strengthen Bladder Neck Muscles?

Exercises such as the pelvic floor exercise, also called Kegel exercises, aid in retaining urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can prevent urine leakage while sneezing, coughing, lifting, laughing, or during any urgency to urinate by strengthening the bladder muscles daily through Kegel exercise.


What Are the Consequences of Bladder Neck Obstruction?

The signs and symptoms of prostatism are caused by obstruction of the bladder outflow (for example - frequency, urgency, hesitancy, dribbling of the urine, decreased voiding stream, and the need to empty the bladder twice). Urinary blockage frequently leads to acute and chronic renal failure.


Can Issues with the Bladder Lead to Neck Pain?

There is a link between urinary problems and cervical neck pain, the vagus Nerve, and blood pressure. The pressure on the nerves and spinal cord in the cervical spine region can alter spinal cord functions and result in many problems, such as pain, numbness, and loss of bladder control.


What Is the Reason for Tight Bladder Neck?

A functional blockage known as a tight bladder neck is brought on by an aberrant opening of the bladder neck during the voiding phase of micturition. Some patients also report pelvic pain and discomfort. Symptoms include voiding symptoms (urinary flow is slow, interrupted stream, partial emptying of the bladder), storage symptoms (frequency, urgency incontinence, nocturia), and voiding symptoms.


What Is ICD 10 for Bladder Neck Dysfunction?

Bladder-neck obstruction is a medical condition that falls under the range of diseases of the genitourinary system, according to the ICD-10 code N32.0.


Is It Possible to Treat Bladder Neck Obstruction?

Yes, before seeking medical help, bladder neck blockage may have been present for some time with minor symptoms. Nonetheless, the signs and symptoms of bladder neck obstruction often disappear after proper treatment.


How Are Bladder Neck Nerves Affected?

Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), and diabetes mellitus can all cause nerve injury. Moreover, it may be brought on by spinal cord injury, brain or brainstem infections, heavy metal poisoning, stroke, or significant pelvic surgery.


What Is the Treatment for Bladder Neck Contracture?

A nonsurgical technique called dilatation that can be carried out in a doctor's office may be used to relieve the contracture. To gradually enlarge (dilate) the urethral opening and enable the insertion of a urinary catheter to drain the bladder of urine, tubes of increasing diameter are passed through the urethra.


What Is the Treatment for Bladder Neck Obstruction?

Men and women with PBNO have the same treatment choices, which include watchful waiting, medication, and surgery. Patients with mild symptoms and no urodynamic or clinical signs of upper or lower urinary tract decompensation may benefit from watching and waiting.


What Is the Management for Bladder and Neck Dysfunction?

Transurethral excision of the prostate is the primary surgical procedure for bladder neck blockage (TURP). During TURP, sections of the prostate are excised or cut away. The surgeon also removes any clogged ducts.


How Is a Bladder Neck Incision Performed?

A resectoscope (a tiny surgical telescope) will be inserted into the urethra by the surgeons to perform tiny incisions in the neck of the bladder where the prostate is preventing urine flow. This will open the bladder's neck, relieving pressure and improving flow.


Will Ayurveda Help to Treat Bladder Neck Obstruction?

Ayurvedic therapy for urinary tract diseases includes:
- Detoxifying to drain out infection.
- Clearing up urinary system obstructions.
- Administering medicines that tone the kidneys and restore the apana vayu (Vata) function.
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Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil
Dr. Samer Sameer Juma Ali Altawil



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