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What is after-dribble?

After-dribble refers to the loss of a small amount of urine after emptying the bladder. It can be annoying and embarassing and occurs when the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis) is not completely emptied. This occurs when the muscles surrounding the urethra do not contract properly, which in turn prevents the bladder from fully emptying.

What can I do?

There are a number of different things you can try to minimise after-dribble:

  • Sit down on the toilet to empty your bladder.
  • Make sure that you pull your pants and the elastic of your briefs down properly, so that both the penis and scrotum are fully exposed when you empty your bladder. The elastic from your briefs will apply some pressure behind the scrotum and help to straighten the urethra so that it is completely emptied.
  • Place your fingertips (three fingers wide) behind your scrotum and apply gentle pressure upwards and forwards to encourage the flow of urine along and down the urethra, then shake or squeeze the penis in the usual way. Repeat this movement twice to make sure the urethra is completely empty.

Where can I get help?

If you experience after-dribble alongside any of the following symptoms it is important that you seek professional help:

  • difficulty initiating the flow of urine
  • having to strain to empty your bladder
  • a slow urine stream when emptying your bladder
  • feeling the need to urgently empty your bladder
  • burning, discomfort or pain when emptying your bladder
  • blood-stained urine
  • having to get up several times overnight to empty your bladder, and
  • having to change your lifestyle because of problems with your bladder or bowel.

Speak to your GP or contact the National Continence Helpline 1800 33 00 66 to speak to a friendly continence nurse.

If you are caring for someone with bladder or bowel problems, practical tips and advice are available to assist you with your care. Read more on caring with someone with incontinence.