Men can stop embarrassing post-loo drip by performing this simple massage on themselves
Radio and TV presenter Chris Evans last week revealed how his problem with frequently urinating in the night has been helped by a technique called bulbar urethral massage.
Chris Evans, 56, told his radio show listeners that he’d seen a urologist as he was going to the loo ‘up to ten times’ a night. The doctor taught him to perform the technique as a way to clear urine trapped in his urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body.
Within a week, Chris Evans claimed, he was down to three ‘comfort breaks’.
Wanting to wee more than normal can be the result of ageing, he told his listeners. As Ben Challacombe, a consultant urological surgeon in London, and trustee of The Urology Foundation, explains, urine can get stuck in a ‘U-bend’ in a man’s urinary system, just outside the pelvic floor muscles.
‘You can get 3-5ml [of urine] that gets caught in that U-bend,’ he says. ‘It’s particularly common in older men, or men who’ve had a catheter or urological procedure: they often get baggy in that area and urine gets trapped.’
Chris Evans, 56, told his radio show listeners that he’d seen a urologist as he was going to the loo ‘up to ten times’ a night
Wanting to wee more than normal can be the result of ageing
Bulbar urethral massage, also known as urethral milking, is usually advised for treating post-micturition dribble — where trapped urine leaks out after men have been to the loo — but it may also help those who feel a frequent urge to pee.
Mr Challacombe says: ‘It’s not going to obviously reduce the amount of wee you produce at night or reduce the sensitivity of the bladder — which are the main two reasons why blokes get up at night — but it does relieve the sensation in the urethra.’
The technique involves placing the fingertips three finger-widths behind the scrotum and gently massaging in a forward and upward direction towards the base of the penis. This pushes the urine forward into the urethra, and should be done twice, according to NHS advice.
‘By pressing underneath, under the scrotum, almost around towards the anus, you can elevate that U-bend to a flat line and therefore allow the release of that urine out of the penis,’ says Mr Challacombe.
Chris Evans described the technique as ‘a life-changer’. ‘I’ve had some sleep, for the first time in years,’ he said. ‘I could cry, honestly.’
Mr Challacombe says: ‘It’s a little self-physiotherapy. I say to blokes, “If you do this, we’ll have you back in beige trousers”, and they go, “Yeah, I know what you mean”. The vast majority will get better if you teach them how to do it.’
He adds that waking up in the night to wee ‘can be a sign of an enlarged prostate or a variety of causes, and if of recent onset, should be investigated by your GP’.