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What might cause intermittent urethra and bladder irritation for 2+ months?

Hello there. I'm a 38 year old male. About a year ago, I passed a kidney stone. It was the first one I had ever experienced. I woke up one day with pain, which subsided within 48 hours, and about 2 months later I popped out a stone. In the weeks and days before the stone finally passed, I experienced a lot of discomfort with urination and frequent/urgent urination. After passing the stone, I felt 100% normal (after a brief recovery period).  I had a CT scan done at the time and I had no other stones that they could see.

Fast forward to about 8 months later.  One night, I woke up to use the bathroom, but after I urinated, I had this feeling like I still had more urine in me, and that I still needed to go. It was very similar to when I was passing a kidney stone months earlier. This persisted for several days and subsided a little, but it has not gone away completely.  For the past 2 months these symptoms seem to flare up for a while and then they go back down again. This feeling that my bladder is not empty, that I need to go urinate right after I've gone, is very annoying and keeps me up at night. Sometimes, it doesn't feel exactly like needing to urinate, but feels like a slight irritation that seems to be either in my bladder or my urethra, sometimes one or the other and sometimes both.

The feeling is often very mild, yet still noticeable. Sometimes it is mild enough to make me think I might be psyching myself out, and magnifying ordinary sensations.  But I'm pretty sure I didn't just wake up that first night imagining physical sensations, and I am fairly certain that it's not just my imagination when it is more moderate. I mean it feels like I need to go, and I don't.

So far I've seen the urologist again once. They found nothing wrong with my urine and they found nothing in ultrasounds of my bladder and kidneys. The urologist said to come back if my symptoms didn't go away. I have another appointment on the books but it takes a while to get in. I'm worried that they won't be able to help me.  At first I thought maybe I was passing another stone, but it's been almost 10 weeks now and things have not progressed. So now I'm not so sure that's it. The sensations nearly go away at times.  Actually over the past 2 weeks I thought maybe this was clearing up -- but then in the past 3 days it's gotten worse again. I've tried keeping a food diary, but it's hard to find any correlation.  I've had it come on days when I've had no caffeine, and I've had caffeine on other days and those have turned out to be better days.  Same with spicy food and pretty much anything else.  The thing is--I NEVER had any sensitivity issues in the past, why should it just suddenly start up out of the blue one day and persist?  What exactly happened on that day?  This is what makes me suspect a kidney stone again, but-- there's been no pain, no visible blood in the urine, and it doesn't quite feel the same as the last time... only the slight irritation.

Sexual function remains normal and does not seem to affect it.  If anything, it is a little distraction from feeling like I need to go to the bathroom.

Anyway, I really want some relief from this. I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has experienced this or something similar and if you have found anything that helps at least suppress the irritation.  If nothing else, writing this post has helped me figure out how to better describe my symptoms to my urologist.  I will follow up after I've seen my urologist again.
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Avatar universal
Haven’t experienced exactly what you’re describing, but something similar. I had prostate cancer surgery Jul 31 & over the months since I have occasionally expelled small pieces of plastic when urinating & found out these are medical ‘clips’ that control bleeding which are normally just absorbed, but can sometimes migrate into the bladder & then are expelled during urination. The sensation was similar to your description - I’d be peeing & suddenly felt like a slight resistance & slowing of the urine stream, then the small object shot out & urination resumed full force. At times I’d feel a sort of resistance for several days, felt like I hadn’t emptied my bladder completely, then would expel another one of these clips. Each time it happens, my urethra feels a bit irritated for several days. So what you’re describing makes me think that you are in fact feeling possibly another small stone. But then I don’t really know why that doesn’t show up on scans, etc. I would continue to seek medical help & advice for this. You know your body & can tell when something isn’t quite right. Good luck, hope you get to the bottom of it...
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Thanks very much for your reply...  It feels very similar to the weeks leading up to when I passed the stone, I assume as it was coming down one of my ureters (I think), so I have suspected another one is making its way through.  Very, very slowly.  However I'm not having any of the other symptoms, so that makes me feel uncertain.

I read that people who have stents put in will also get the sensation of needing to urinate because (if I remember correctly) it stimulates the area where the bladder and ureter connect.  So that seems like the most likely culprit -- as opposed to some kind of nerve problem or psychological thing. I am fairly sure it's not the latter because, since I am disregarding the urge to urinate during the day, I find that I am holding it in longer and I can't tell when I actually do have to go.

I hope it is a stone because at least that means I can probably get rid of it and get back to normal...  I'm doing my best to hang in there... seeing the urologist in 2 days. But it is tough to try to lay in bed when you feel like you need to go, and frustrating when you have nothing to pass.
Avatar universal
Wow - yeah, that sounds like it would be a little hard to deal with. In any type of medical issue, I think the hardest thing is not knowing what’s going on. Sometimes it’s a relief just to know, then you at least might have some idea how to deal with it. Good luck, sure hope the Dr’s can get to the bottom of it...
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Avatar universal
i have a similar issue that started about 2 months ago. one day after i emptied my bladder is still felt that i needed to go. since then, every time i pee, it seems that something in my urethra gets irritated and it feels like itching or very slight burn in my urethra at the tip of my penis. sometimes i feels like fluid is left but there is none. the more often i try to pee the more intense the feeling gets. after a while i found out that if i dont go for a while, like 2 hours, the feeling starts fading away and eventually gets back to normal, but only until i pee again. then it starts all over. my urine test, PSA and post void sono came out normal. they put me on oxybutynin even though i explained my doctor that i have none of the symptoms of overactive bladder. she said to give it a try. i am almost 2 weeks using it but it does absolutely nothing.  so far thats all i have tried so cant really help here, but it sure is frustrating.
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