This Is Why You Get ‘Urinary Dribble’ After Peeing

Ever wonder why you get that annoying drops of pee after you’ve already zipped up your pants? Urologist and pelvic surgeon Rena Malik, MD, has some answers.

Urinary dribble, also known as post void dribble, is an involuntary loss of urine immediately after urination affecting anywhere from five to 58 percent of the penis-having population. Dr. Malik explains briefly in a YouTube video what this is and why it happens.

Your first issue could be urethral narrowing, explains Dr. Malik. This is where you have some abnormality going on with your urethra that leads to it narrowing and urine can get trapped inside, only to come out later.

A second, possibly more common reason, could be prostatic urethral trapping. Dr. Malik describes it as where an enlarged prostate traps urine behind the bladder sphincter below the prostate, and that urine will eventually dribble out after you’ve already urinated. According to Dr. Malik, this situation, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), happens in up 80 percent of men over the age of 70.

A final reason Dr. Malik shares, which experts aren’t totally sure why it happens, is neuromuscular dysfunction of the urethral muscles, the muscles that usually contract to help you pee. “When these muscles become weaker, which can happen with age or with certain neurological conditions, it’s going to be harder to propel all the urine forward out of the tip of the penis,” says Dr. Malik.

Dr. Malik’s tips for tackling the dribble? If you notice that you have to strain when you pee or your urine comes out a splayed stream and goes in a bunch of different directions, ask your doc about possible urethral narrowing, which could be due to a penis injury, and what can be done to fix it.

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For an enlarged prostate, however, that could present with other symptoms like a weak urine stream, straining, urine hesitancy, your urine starting and stopping, peeing more often, or even waking up in the middle of the night to pee, she also encourages you to check in with your doctor to make sure it’s not a more serious issue.

If you’re not dealing with anything else besides the annoying dribble, Dr. Malik believes you could fall into the elusive neuromuscular dysfunction category for which she recommends an exercise you can do at home to help—bulbar urethral massage. This is where you “take your fingertips about an inch behind your scrotum and push upwards towards the base of the penis,” while applying pressure to “milk” the excess urine out, she says. Try it once or twice after urinating to prevent any further dribble.

She also recommends stretching, squeezing, or shaking the penis to help get the excess out. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, a.k.a. kegels, are also a recommendation from Dr. Malik, but only at the caution of your urologist or pelvic floor physical therapist.

Taylyn Washington-Harmon
Taylyn Washington-Harmon is the Health Editor at Men’s Health, with previous bylines at Health Magazine, SELF, and STAT.

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