Doctor with patient

LEARN ABOUT URINARY RETENTION ARE YOU SUFFERING IN SILENCE?

If you’re unable to empty your bladder, you’re not alone. Use our search tool to find a bladder control specialist near you.

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WHAT IS URINARY RETENTION?

Urinary retention is defined as the inability to completely or partially empty the bladder. You may be unable to start urination, or if you are able to start, you can’t fully empty your bladder.


DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

  • Difficulty starting to urinate
  • Difficulty fully emptying the bladder
  • Weak dribble or stream of urine
  • Loss of small amounts of urine during the day
  • Inability to feel when bladder is full
  • Increased abdominal pressure
  • Lack of urge to urinate
  • Strained efforts to push urine out of the bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Nocturia (waking up more than two times at night to urinate)

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

There are two general types of urinary retention: obstructive and non-obstructive. If there is an obstruction (for example, kidney stones), urine cannot flow freely through the urinary tract. Non-obstructive causes include a weak bladder muscle and nerve problems that interfere with signals between the brain and the bladder. If the nerves aren’t working properly, the brain may not get the message that the bladder is full.

Some of the most common causes of non-obstructive urinary retention are:

  • Stroke
  • Vaginal childbirth
  • Pelvic injury or trauma
  • Impaired muscle or nerve function due to medication or anesthesia
  • Accidents that injure the brain or spinal cord

Obstructive retention may result from:

  • Cancer
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Enlarged prostate (BPH) in men

TREAT YOURSELF TO LESS WORRY

Urinary retention is a treatable condition.  Don’t be afraid to speak up about your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. This will help your doctor find the right treatment for you.