Bladder Outlet Obstruction

What is Bladder Outlet Obstruction?

Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a medical term for a blockage of the urinary tract or bladder that prevents urine from passing through the body. This condition can be caused by an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, tumors, or other physiological obstructions. BOO can cause urine leakage, urine retention, and other complications.


Symptoms of BOO can be subtle or severe and may include:

  • Difficulty initiating urination
  • Struggling to completely empty the bladder
  • Frequent pees
  • Pain during urination
  • Leaking urine before or after urinating
  • Pain or pressure in the lower abdomen


Diagnosis of BOO starts with a physical exam and medical history. Common medical tests used to diagnose BOO include:

  • Urine tests, to check for infection or red and white blood cells
  • Ultrasounds, to identify stones or blockages
  • CT scans, to identify blockages or structural abnormalities
  • Cystoscopy, a procedure used to inspect and identify blockages


Treatment of BOO depends on the cause. Common treatments include:

  • Medications, such as alpha-blockers, to reduce symptoms
  • Surgery, to remove enlarged prostates, stones, or tumors
  • Urethral dilation, to widen blockages
  • Catheter insertion, to relieve pressure in the bladder
  • Cranberry extract, to reduce the risk of infection


It is not always possible to prevent BOO. However, certain lifestyle changes can reduce the risk, including:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Regular exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Limiting sodium intake