Q: Why does my son’s urine go all over the place?
A: You’re changing your baby’s diaper and, without warning, his urine starts to geyser. You reach madly for a baby wipe or towel or anything nearby to contain this phenomenon, which scientists call a splayed urinary stream.
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Here are some of the reasons this happens, to babies and also older boys:
- Meatal stenosis. For circumcised boys, chronic irritation from diapers or underwear can cause the urethral meatus, where the hole where urine comes out narrows. This can cause a deviated or spraying urinary stream, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, pain with urination or blood in the urine.
- Phimosis. The inability to push back the skin from the head of the penis sometimes causes a deviated or spraying urinary stream.
- For older boys, underwear sometimes pinches the urethra. Sometimes boys do not pull their underwear down far enough when they urinate. This causes the urethra (the tube that brings urine out from the bladder) to be kinked. They can experience a spraying stream or leaking after urination. The best fix? Boys can pull their underwear down further when urinating.
- Position. Sometimes boys simply don’t take time to properly aim when urinating.
- Hypospadias. Sometimes the urethral meatus (hole where urine comes out) is not located at the tip of the penis. The hole may also be narrow. This can cause a deviated or spraying urinary stream. Circumcising your son is not recommended if you suspect he has this condition.
Pediatric urology nurse practitioner Rebecca Cesa, CNP