What is Urinary Retention?
Most people feel uncomfortable discussing bladder control problems with their friends, family and doctor. But if you are unable to empty your bladder, you’re not alone. Urinary retention is defined as the inability to completely or partially empty the bladder. Suffering from urinary retention means you may be unable to start urination or if you are able to start, you can not fully empty your bladder.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of urinary retention may include:
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
Nocturia (waking up more than two times at night to urinate)
What are the causes?
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 track. 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:
Pelvic injury or trauma
Impaired muscle or nerve function due to medication or anaesthesia
Accidents that injure the brain or spinal cord
Obstructive retention may result from:
Kidney or bladder stones
Enlarged prostate (BPH) in men
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how they affect your daily life. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms.