A River Runs Through It: Bladder Microphone Hears Your Prostate

Catheters suck, but they're a necessary evil for men who want to know if they have benign prostatic hyperplasia (quickie Giz diagnosis: you're cancer-free, but pee six times an hour). And in addition to excruciating tube-down-your-johnson pain, the catheter also carries with it the potential for infection. The process could be changing soon, however, thanks to researcher Tim Idzenga. Basically, the Dutchman will diagnose BPH by listening to your business with a microphone.

Idzenga's process uses a microphone attached to perineum, which is fancy pants doctorspeak for the patch of skin we layman and immature Gizmodo writers call "the taint." From there, he listens to changes in the sound of flowing urine—specifically for the tell-tale hissing of BPH. More scientifically, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) reports that the "frequency spectrum of the sound was found to correlate with the narrowing of the urethra. The degree of narrowing can therefore be determined from the recorded urinary sound." Idzenga has since filed a patent for the invention and hopes to have a commercial offering from IQ+ Medical BV out to urologists fairly soon.

So, in the future, if the doctor hears hissing, you have BPH, but you found out without having had a tube shoved into your urethra. Time to pop a few Flowmax for that long distance convertible car ride with your best mates.