Male Shy Bladder Syndrome - Parauresis Treatments and Coping Strategies

  • Added:
    Oct 29, 2013
  • Article Views:
  • Word Count:
Male Shy Bladder Syndrome - Parauresis Treatments and Coping Strategies Photo by John Dugan

What is shy bladder syndrome?

Shy bladder syndrome, or parauresis, simply refers to the inability - or reduced ability - to urinate in public, in the company of others. In milder cases, a man might have trouble using a public urinal in a busy venue - such as a sports arena - while in more severe cases, men might be so limited that social events and even long plane rides are out of the question. Clearly, this issue can severely impair a man’s ability to participate in regular activities - imagine trying to get through a long day at work without the ability to void the bladder. Dealing with this problem can lead to some significant consequences for a man’s emotional health, relationships, and even his penis health. One thing that men who are affected should know is that they are not alone - an estimated 7 percent of the population experiences this problem, putting the number of individuals with parauresis in the tens of millions.

What causes parauresis?

It is important to emphasize that parauresis does not refer to a physiological condition, such as a blockage in the urethra - a problem that requires direct medical intervention. Instead, shy bladder - also referred to as bashful bladder - is a type of social anxiety, or a phobic pattern behavior. It can be difficult to pinpoint a specific cause for this problem, but it is generally believed that a traumatic event may be an initial trigger - for instance, shaming by a parent or sibling during toilet training. After the first occurrence of being unable to urinate with other people present, a pattern of expectation and anxiety can develop, until a man is truly completely unable to empty his bladder in a public place.

Tricks for men who suffer from shy bladder

For men who are not severely affected, learning some relaxation techniques and engaging in these in the bathroom can be effective. Or, instead of stepping up to the line of urinals in a public restroom, a man can duck into a stall and lock the door. For men who have a great deal of anxiety, though, more aggressive treatment may be needed.

Treatment options

Men who are dealing with shy bladder should make a trip to their urologist the first step to resolving the problem. A urologist can determine whether the problem is, indeed, psychological, or whether there is actually a blockage at the root of the issue. Once it has been established that parauresis is to blame, the urologist can offer a range of options for treatment. These can include self-catheterization - which provides nearly instantaneous relief, although it is not a cure for the underlying problem. Other possibilities include hypnotherapy, talk therapy, and other forms of psychological treatment. In particular, it appears that cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective in 80 to 90 percent of cases, allowing men to address the issues involved in the problem and to eliminate their phobia concerning public urination.

Maintaining penis health

For men who are suffering from parauresis, maintaining penis health is an especially important issue - particularly for those who rely on self-catheterization. Because this process can irritate the penis and increase the risk for infection, it is important to keep the area clean, as well as to wash the hands thoroughly before and after catheterization. A vitamin A-enriched penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) may also assist in this respect. While a creme like this should not be used on open sores or inserted into the urethra, and it is not meant as a cure for any disease, it can provide soothing and antibacterial properties that leave the penis feeling healthy and invigorated.

Author's Profile

Visit for more information about treating common penis health problems, including soreness, redness and loss of penis sensation. John Dugan is a professional writer who specializes in men's health issues and is an ongoing contributing writer to numerous online web sites.

Please Rate this Article
Poor Excellent