Trick to stop men's embarrassing post-loo drip

Many men have interrupted sleep because they have to go to the toilet several times during the night. But there's a technique that can help ease the problem, writes Sophie Freeman


Radio presenter Chris Evans says a technique called bulbar urethral massage has reduced his number of visits to the toilet during the night


Radio and TV presenter Chris Evans has revealed how his problem with frequently urinating in the night has been helped by a technique called bulbar urethral massage.

Evans (56) told his Virgin Radio listeners that he had seen a urologist as he was going to the loo "up to 10 times" a night. The doctor taught him to perform the technique as a way to clear urine trapped in his urethra, the tube through which urine leaves the body.

Within a week, Evans claimed, he was down to three "comfort breaks".

Wanting to wee more than normal can be the result of ageing, he told his listeners. As Ben Challacombe, a consultant urological surgeon in London, and trustee of The Urology Foundation, explains, urine can get stuck in a 'U-bend' in a man’s urinary system, just outside the pelvic floor muscles.

"You can get 3-5ml [of urine] that gets caught in that U-bend," he says. "It’s particularly common in older men, or men who’ve had a catheter or urological procedure: they often get baggy in that area and urine gets trapped."


Bulbar urethral massage may help men who feel a frequent urge to go to the toilet repeatedly during the night


Bulbar urethral massage, also known as urethral milking, is usually advised for treating post-micturition dribble — where trapped urine leaks out after men have been to the loo — but it may also help those who feel a frequent urge to pee.

Mr Challacombe says: "It’s not going to obviously reduce the amount of wee you produce at night or reduce the sensitivity of the bladder — which are the main two reasons why blokes get up at night — but it does relieve the sensation in the urethra."

The technique involves placing the fingertips three finger-widths behind the scrotum and gently massaging in a forward and upward direction towards the base of the penis. This pushes the urine forward into the urethra, and should be done twice, according to NHS advice.

"By pressing underneath, under the scrotum, almost around towards the anus, you can elevate that U-bend to a flat line and therefore allow the release of that urine out of the penis," says Mr Challacombe.

Evans described the technique as "a life-changer". "I’ve had some sleep, for the first time in years," he said. "I could cry, honestly."


There can be a number of reasons behind waking up in the night to go to the toilet. If it's of recent onset, it should be investigated by your GP


Mr Challacombe says: "It’s a little self-physiotherapy. I say to blokes, 'If you do this, we’ll have you back in beige trousers', and they go, 'Yeah, I know what you mean'. The vast majority will get better if you teach them how to do it."

He adds that waking up in the night to wee "can be a sign of an enlarged prostate or a variety of causes, and if of recent onset, should be investigated by your GP".

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