What Causes Urinary Retention
- Structural problems with the urethra, such as narrowing or blockage
- Structural problems with the bladder neck, sometimes following treatment for a congenital condition, such as posterior urethral valves or bladder exstrophy
- Weak bladder and pelvic floor muscles
- Problems with nerve messages travelling between the bladder and brain
- Side effects of some medications, including anaesthesia
- Surgery to the urinary system
- Constipation when the bowel is full of poo and presses on the bladder and urethra
How Is It Diagnosed
To diagnose urinary retention, a doctor will first ask about the history of your symptoms and perform a physical exam. The physical will include an examination of your genitals and rectum to look for any symptoms affecting those areas that may also affect the urinary tract.
Some other tests that may be used to confirm a diagnosis
likely be inserted to help quickly drain the urine. Local anesthesia will be used to make sure you dont feel pain or discomfort from the catheter.
If a catheter doesnt work or cant be used because of an injury or other condition, a doctor may insert a suprapubic catheter into the skin above your bladder to drain the urine.
Change Your Bathroom Habits
Use the bathroom whenever you have an urge to go. Often, people hold their urine because its not a good time to go to the bathroom. However, regularly holding urine in can wear out your bladder muscles. Youre also more likely to develop a urinary tract infection if you hold urine in. UTIs can cause urinary retention.
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What Is The Treatment For Chronic Urinary Retention
Based on the etiology, the treatment plan is suggested by the physician. Therefore, it is important to perform tests to identify the etiology. Many treatments are available for chronic urinary retention:
Catheterization: Occasional or long-term catheterization is required for chronic urinary retention. The physician will teach the individual how to self-catheterize in case of necessity.
Urethral Dilation: Urethral strictures are treated using urethral dilation.
Urethral Stents: Here, an artificial tube called a stent is inserted into the urethra to relieve the stricture. Once placed, the stents expand like a spring and push the surrounding tissues, thereby widening the urethra.
Surgery: Surgical interventions include prostate surgeries for men and pelvic organ prolapse repair for females will be required.
Pharmacological Interventions: The following medications can reduce urinary retention but should be taken under the physician’s advice.
Alpha Blockers: Doxazosin, Prazosin, Tamsulosin, Terazosin, Alfuzosin, and Silodosin.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: Dutasteride and Finasteride.
Combination Therapy: Tamsulosin and Dutasteride.
When Should the Individual See a Doctor?
The individual should consult the physician in case of:
Unable to pass urine.
Pain and burning sensation, along with an inability to pass urine.
Blood in the urine.
Once the symptoms do not regress with treatment.
Initial Management Of Urinary Retention
Acute urinary retention should be managed by immediate and complete decompression of the bladder through catheterization. Standard transurethral catheters are readily available and can usually be easily inserted. If urethral catheterization is unsuccessful or contraindicated, the patient should be referred immediately to a physician trained in advanced catheterization techniques, such as placement of a firm, angulated Coude catheter or a suprapubic catheter.5 Hematuria, hypotension, and postobstructive diuresis are potential complications of rapid decompression however, there is no evidence that gradual bladder decompression will decrease these complications. Rapid and complete emptying of the bladder is therefore recommended.34
For hospitalized patients requiring catheterization for 14 days or less, a Cochrane review found that silver alloy-impregnated urethral catheters have been associated with decreased rates of UTI versus standard catheters.41 Another Cochrane review concluded that patients requiring catheterization for up to 14 days had less discomfort, bacteriuria, and need for recatheterization when suprapubic catheters were used compared with urethral catheters.42 In a recent meta-analysis of abdominal surgery patients, suprapubic catheters were found to decrease bacteriuria and discomfort and were preferred by patients.43 Although evidence suggests short-term benefit from silver alloy-impregnated and suprapubic catheters, their use remains somewhat controversial.
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Take Medication As Prescribed
An enlarged prostate is a common cause of urinary retention. If youre currently taking prostate medication, it is important to take this medication regularly as prescribed by your doctor to prevent urinary retention. Additionally, we recommend avoiding certain medications that can lead to urinary retention, such as decongestants and anti-inflammatory drugs.
When To See A Doctor
Seek emergency care immediately if youre unable to urinate or youre experiencing severe pain in your lower abdomen. These are symptoms of acute urinary retention, which is very serious and can be life-threatening if its not treated as soon as possible. If youre experiencing any other urinary retention symptoms, it is still important to talk with your healthcare professional, as chronic urinary retention can also cause serious health problems if left untreated.
To treat acute urinary retention, your urologist will drain the bladder by placing a catheter into your urethra. Removing the urine from your bladder will provide immediate relief and help prevent your bladder and kidneys from being damaged.
For chronic urinary retention, your urologist will assess your symptoms and suggest treatments depending on what is causing your urinary retention. Some treatments that a doctor might recommend include antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, or a surgical procedure to treat a blocked urethra or an enlarged prostate.
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Urinary Retention At A Glance
- Urinary retention, either acute or chronic, is the problem of being unable to empty the bladder properly.
- Urinary retention occurs most frequently in older men, but it can affect women and men of any age.
- Chronic urinary retention may cause few symptoms and sometimes people dont know they have it until urinary incontinence causes them to seek treatment.
- Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency and may involve complete inability to urinate and painful, urgent need to urinate.
- Surgical and other treatments are available to resolve urinary retention.
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Best Urinary Retention Pregnancy Bloggers You Need To Follow
Urinary retention is a common problem. A urinary retention is when the bladder fails to empty its contents. Urinary retention is often due to stress related issues. The bladder is usually empty for a few hours after stopping a stressor. In such cases, your bladder may not be able to empty completely.
When it does stop emptying, it looks like this. In the video, Im wearing a pantsuit while showing a catheter, but not really. Ive been on the move most of the day and my bladder has been very full. Since I only have two choices of pants, I cant wear the ones I normally wear while Im on the move. As Ive been walking, Ive been filling the bladder with urine.
It also may stop, and then start again as the bladder is emptying . I have seen this happen in my practice, but I am not sure it is a pregnancy. Im still not 100% sure. In a way, this is very similar to the urine retention and bladder infections that occur during pregnancy. The bladder is so full that it will empty completely. Its then refilling itself by adding more fluid. Im not sure how this can be considered a pregnancy.
We dont have the medical expertise to diagnose urinary retention and we dont know the cause, but this isnt an emergency. We can certainly say the person is in some discomfort, and cant find a way to relieve it. The only treatment here is to get them to the hospital immediately.
What Symptoms Would I Have With A Rectocele
Many women with a rectocele have no symptoms, and the condition is only seen in a pelvic examination. In general, if a rectocele isnt causing you symptoms or discomfort, it can be left alone.
When symptoms are present, you may have:
- Difficulty having bowel movements.
A rectocele should be treated only if your symptoms interfere with your quality of life.
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How Can Urinary Retention Be Prevented
If you have an enlarged prostate, be sure to take prostate medications as prescribed by your doctor and avoid medications associated with urinary retention, such as over-the-counter cold and allergy medications that contain decongestants.
If you have mild cystocele or rectocele, you may be able to prevent urinary retention by doing exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.
Kimberly-Clark Australia makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.
Healthdirect.gov.au, . Urinary retention. Available at: .
http://www.health.qld.gov.au, . Adult Urinary Obstruction, Retention and Bladder Scanning. Available at: .
John P. Cunha, F. . Urinary Retention: Get the Facts on Causes and Treatment. MedicineNet. Available at: .
Kidney.niddk.nih.gov, . Urinary Retention – National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Available at: .
Knott, MD, L. . Acute Urinary Retention. Information about AUR. Patient | Patient.co.uk. Patient.co.uk. Available at: .
How Does The Urinary System Work
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, the bladder and urethra. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste products and produce urine. The urine flows from the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. A ring of muscle squeezes shut to keep urine in the bladder and relaxes when we need to wee. The urine passes through another tube called the urethra to the outside when urinating .
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How Is Chronic Urinary Retention Diagnosed
History and physical exam: During the diagnosis process, your healthcare provider will ask about your signs and symptoms and how long you have had them. He or she will also ask about your medical history and your drug use. A physical exam of the lower abdomen may show the cause or give your provider additional clues. After this, certain tests may be needed. Men may have a rectal exam to check the size of their prostate.
Your urine may be saved and checked to look for infection.
Ultrasound of the bladder: The amount of urine that stays in your bladder after urinating may be measured by doing an ultrasound test of the bladder. This test is called a postvoid residual or bladder scan.
Cystoscopy: Cystoscopy is a test in which a thin tube with a tiny camera on one end is put into your urethra. This lets the doctor look at pictures of the lining of your urethra and bladder. This test may show a stricture of the urethra, blockage caused by a stone, an enlarged prostate or a tumor. It can also be used to remove stones, if found. A computed tomography scan may also help find stones or anything else blocking the flow of urine.
Urodynamic testing: Tests that use a catheter to record pressure within the bladder may be done to tell how well the bladder empties. The rate at which urine flows can also be measured by such tests. This is called urodynamic testing.
Urine Retention Home Remedies That Really Work
Urinary retention can be related to some form of obstruction, but it can also be the result of other causes that are not related any form of obstruction. In the case of an obstruction, there is often little you can do to correct the situation apart from the removal of the obstruction, but there are urine retention home remedies to help non-obstructed cases and to prevent the development of obstructions.
Please keep in mind that although the home remedies can help relieve urine retention, they are not all-inclusive cures and avoiding the advice and treatment of a health care professional can be fatal.
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Free Just Cant Wait Toilet Card
The most common cause of difficult urination in men is a blockage due to an enlarged prostate restricting the outlet from the bladder. For women one of the common causes of difficulty in urination is an anterior prolapse/bladder prolapse which can distort the urethra and restrict the flow of urine.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Urinary Retention
- Frequent urination, or the urge to urinate right after you finish
- An urge to urinate, but your urine does not come out or dribbles out slowly and weakly
- Frequent urine leaks that happen during the day or while you sleep
- Pain or pressure when you urinate
- Pain or stiffness in your abdomen, lower back, hips, or upper thighs
- Blood in your urine
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A Combination Of Medical And Home Treatments May Help Ease The Symptoms Faster Here Are Three Home Remedies For Bladder Retention:
Written by Longjam Dineshwori | Updated : February 25, 2020 9:19 PM IST
Urinary retention is the inability to completely or partially empty the bladder. When you have this condition, you may be unable to start urination, or if you are able to start, you canât fully empty your bladder.
Youâre suffering from urinary retention, if you experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty starting to urinate
Symptoms Of Urinary Retention
The symptoms of urinary retention vary, depending upon whether the condition is chronic or acute .
Chronic urinary retention . usually develops over months or years. It is usually not painful. The symptoms of chronic urinary retention can include:
- A weak or interrupted urine stream
- Leaking in between trips to the bathroom
- Feeling an urgent need to urinate, but not being able to go
- Still needing to urinate after finishing
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen and urinary tract .
Sometimes these symptoms arent worrisome enough for people to seek medical care. However, the risk of not seeking care is that these people may be more likely to have complications from untreated urinary retention. These complications can include urinary tract infection or acute urinary retention.
Acute urinary retention has different symptoms and requires immediate medical care. The symptoms may include:
- Complete inability to urinate
- A need to urinate that is painful and urgent
- Painful or uncomfortable lower abdomen
- Bloated lower abdomen.
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Drinking Water & Other Home Remedies For Urinary Retention
Urinary retention is often treated by addressing the underlying condition. For example, prostate medication can help to shrink an enlarged prostate so its no longer pressing on the urethra, which can improve urine flow. Pelvic floor physical therapy may be helpful for women with cystoceles to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and reduce urinary retention symptoms.
There are also a variety of natural remedies that can address slow urine flow, the most common one being hydration. It makes sense to think that drinking less water can ease symptoms , but thats actually not true. Water is essential to the function of the body and without it, blood vessels cant deliver important nutrients to the kidneys. In turn, the kidneys will only be able to make highly concentrated urine that irritates the bladder. Therefore, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the essential pieces of any treatment plan for urinary retention.
How much water you need per day depends on several factors, including where you live, your activity level, and your age. In general, the long-standing advice of drinking 8 cups of water per day is a good guideline to follow. And remember, liquids other than water can count towards that total, such as tea, coffee, sports drinks, and fruit juice. As long as you arent feeling thirsty on a regular basis and your urine is colorless or light yellow, youre likely drinking enough water for your needs.
What Is The Outcome
The outcome will depend on the underlying cause of urinary retention and whether the urinary retention has caused any damage to your kidneys:
- Some causes of urinary retention resolve quickly without any long-term problems – eg, urinary retention after a general anaesthetic.
- In other cases, urinary retention will resolve once the underlying cause has been treated – eg, prostate gland enlargement.
- Occasionally the cause of urinary retention cannot be cured and a long-term small, flexible tube is needed. Sometimes this can be done by regularly inserting a catheter into the bladder and then removing the catheter once the bladder is emptied.
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How Is Urinary Retention Treated
Treatment for urinary retention can depend on whether you have the acute form or the chronic form, as well as the cause of the condition. For the acute form, a catheter is put into the urethra to drain the bladder.
Treatment of the chronic form or the acute form that becomes chronicwill depend on the cause.
Medications for enlarged prostate: For men with an enlarged prostate, certain drugs may be used to try and open it up or shrink it. These include alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors . Also, procedures or surgery to open up the prostate may be tried.
Procedures for enlarged prostate: Many procedures are available when this problem is due to an enlarged prostate. Office-based treatments can be done with just local anesthetic only. These include water vapor therapy and prostatic urethral lift .
There are also several surgeries done under general anesthesia which are available. These include shaving down the inside of the prostate and opening up the prostate with a laser . A laser can also be used to carve out the entire enlarged portion of the prostate through the urethra , or this part of the prostate can be removed through the belly . All of these procedures can be effective in opening up the blockage.
Treatment for nerve issues: If the retention is due to a nerve-related issue, you may need to use a catheter on yourself at home.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/10/2021.