Urinary Symptoms and Bladder Voiding Dysfunction Are Common in Young Men with Defecatory Disorders: A Retrospective Evaluation

Bradley A. White, Brian J. Linder, Lawrence A. Szarka, David O. Prichard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are frequently reported by constipated patients. Prospective studies investigating the association between defecatory disorders (DDs) and voiding dysfunction, predominantly in women, have reported conflicting results. This study investigated (1) the prevalence of LUTS in young men with DDs and (2) the association between objectively documented DDs and voiding dysfunction in constipated young men with LUTS. Methods: We reviewed the medical records, including validated questionnaires, of men aged 18–40 with confirmed DDs treated with pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) at our institution from May 2018 to November 2020. In a separate group of constipated young men with LUTS who underwent high-resolution anorectal manometry (HRM), rectal balloon expulsion test (BET), and uroflowmetry, we explored the relationship between DDs and voiding dysfunction. Results: A total of 72 men were evaluated in the study. Among 43 men receiving PT for a proven DD, 82% reported ≥ 1 LUTS, most commonly frequent urination. Over half of these men experienced a reduction in LUTS severity after bowel-directed pelvic floor PT. Among 29 constipated men with LUTS who had undergone HRM/BET and uroflowmetry, 28% had concurrent defecatory and voiding dysfunction, 10% had DD alone, 14% had only voiding dysfunction, and 48% had neither. The presence of DD was associated with significantly increased odds of concurrent voiding dysfunction (odds ratio 9.3 [95% CI 1.7–52.7]). Conclusions: Most young men with DDs experience LUTS, which may respond to bowel-directed physical therapy. Patients with DD and urinary symptoms have increased odds of voiding dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3036-3044
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Constipation
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Manometry
  • Pelvic floor disorders
  • Urinary bladder neck obstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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