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Urology/passing gas in urine


I am a 24 year old female and have just passed a noticeable amount of gas through my urethra while urinating and wondering if I should be concerned. I have also been having bowel symptoms that started 3 weeks ago: abdominal distension, crampy lower right pelvic pain, stools very small volume thin and soft but general feeling of constipation/ incomplete evacuation, and yellow mucus and very small amount of blood on paper after bowel movement.  I don't know if passing gas through my urethra is related to my other symptoms or if receiving oral sex an hour or so prior could have caused this.

Carla, if an individual has air in the urinary bladder, they will often note the passage of same during urination (pneumaturia).  Not uncommonly, there are also symptoms of a urinary tract infection such as frequency and burning with urination.  The initial evaluation of this problem should be by a urologist.  He will determine if an infection is present and institute appropriate treatment.  In addition, a cystoscopic examination is generally necessary to determine the etiology of the disorder.

There are a few scenarios where air can be present in the urinary bladder.  The most common is where a communication (called a fistula) develops between the bowel and urinary bladder.  As a result, air as well as bacteria & fecal matter, can pass from the bowel into the bladder.  This type of fistula generally occurs from inflammatory types of bowel disease such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.  Your history of abdominal discomfort and a change in your bowel habits strongly suggests this may well be what is going on.  A gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon is the specialist who evaluates and recommends treatment options for these.  Usually surgical repair is necessary but small fistulae due to inflammatory bowel diseases can occasionally respond to medication.  The surgery is typically performed by a colorectal surgeon and urologist working together.  However, first the site of the fistula needs to located by cystoscopy, colonoscopy and specialized radiologic techniques before a definitive management plan can be recommended.

Another cause of air in the bladder is infection with gas producing bacteria.  Diabetics are more prone to the more serious types of this  condition and in them, air may also be present in the wall of the bladder.  In the latter case, they are usually quite ill with sepsis and require hospitalization, intensive care & intravenous antibiotic therapy.

Air can also be introduced into the bladder during catheterization or bladder irrigations.  This resolves or passes on its own, is quite benign and does not require treatment.  I am unaware of air being introduced via oral sex but I suspect this is remotely possible.

I strongly recommend that you seek consultation very soon with a urologist so that the investigation of your condition can proceed post-haste.   Good luck.


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Arthur Goldstein, M.D.


Problems or questions related to the field of urology; ie urinary stone disease, urinary cancers (kidney, bladder, prostate, testis, etc.), urinary infections, etc. I no longer answer questions related to erection problems or male sexual dysfunction.


I am retired from the active practice of urology. My 34 years was totally in the clinical field and involved the entire gamut of genitourinary problems, with special interest in endourology.

American Medical Association, American Urological Association, American College of Surgeons

College degree - BS Medical degree - MD Master of Science - MS

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