What The Patient Can Do
Here are some things that may help make urine retention less of a problem:
- Empty your bladder at least every 4 hours, even if you donât feel the urge to do so.
- Empty your bowels regularly.
- If tolerated, drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily, preferably water.
- Talk to your doctor about all medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements youre taking.
- Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol and citrus juices, which can irritate the bladder.
- Avoid hygiene products and chlorinated pools and hot tubs that may irritate the bladder
Does Drinking Water Help Urinary Retention
Constipation is another cause of urinary retention that can be prevented by making simple modifications to your diet and lifestyle. Incorporating enough fiber into your diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting regular physical activity can all help lower your chances of developing urinary retention.
When To See A Doctor About Urinary Retention
Sudden, severe urinary retention can be life-threatening. You should seek emergency medical attention if you haven’t been able to urinate for more than four hours, Dr. Ramin recommends.
Less severe symptoms warrant a call to your doctor. The NIDDK recommends contacting your primary care provider or urologist if you experience trouble urinating, frequent urination or urine leakage.
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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.
Techniques For Complete Bladder Emptying
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How Can I Spot The Symptoms
Acute urinary retention is extremely painful and causes abdominal bloating.
There may not be any noticeable symptoms with chronic urinary retention, but symptoms can include urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, an increased urge to wee more frequently, difficulty getting started and producing a weak or interrupted stream of urine when weeing. There may also be mild abdominal discomfort.
What Is Oab And Who Gets It Your Browser Does Not Support Html5 Audio Playback You May Download The Audio File Directly Here
Overactive bladder is the name for a group of bladder symptoms. There are three main symptoms:
- A feeling that you have to go to the bathroom, urgently.
- Sometimes incontinence, which means that you leak urine with the gotta go feeling.
- Usually the need to go to the bathroom often , day and night.
With OAB, you feel that you need to empty your bladder even when its not full. This leads to the feeling that you need a bathroom quickly, right now. You cant control or ignore this feeling. If you gotta go eight or more times each day and night, or fear that urine will leak out before youre ready, you may have OAB.
OAB affects about 33 million Americans. Its not a normal part of aging. Its a health problem that can last for a long time if its not treated. Many older men and women struggle with OAB symptoms. Often people dont know about treatments that can help, or they dont ask for help.
Stress urinary incontinence or SUI is a different bladder problem. People with SUI leak urine while sneezing, laughing or being active. It is not the same as that sudden gotta go feeling from OAB. To learn more about SUI, go to .
In this guide you will find clear information about how to manage OAB. Please ask for help, even if you feel embarrassed. Dont wait, because there are several treatments that work well for OAB. Your health care provider should be trained to talk with you and help you manage your symptoms without embarrassment.
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Reduce Or Eliminate Your Exposure To Scents And Cleaners
So many items are scented these days that sometimes, we tend to overlook it.
- We use the air freshener when we exit the bathroom.
- We keep a deodorizer inside the rim of the toilet.
- We use bleach tablets in the tank to keep the bowl and water clean.
- We spray the bathroom just before guests come .
Keep track of the hygienic paper products you use.
Note: If you spray Lysol, perfume, aerosol deodorant, hairspray, or other spray products in the bathroom, cover the toilet paper so you don’t transfer the scent to the paper! Cover the guest towels, too.
Leaking Urine With Overactive Bladder
In overactive bladder , the muscles squeeze more often than normal. Sometimes this squeezing causes urine to leak before you’re ready to go to the bathroom . With overactive bladder, you feel a sudden urge to go the bathroom that you can’t ignore. This “gotta go” feeling makes you afraid you will leak urine if you don’t get to a bathroom right away. You may or may not leak urine after feeling this urge to go. You may leak just a few drops of urine. Sometimes you may gush a large amount of urine. Sometimes urine will leak while you sleep.
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Put The Lid Down When You Flush
Experts say the water vapor and spray from flushing can reach as high as six feet in the air, contaminating toilet paper, towels, and everything else you are trying to keep clean. Why is that lid up anyway? You don’t need to watch your duty go down the toilet. Only children feel the need to watch. Put the lid down.
Something else to consider if you want to get well and stay well is your storage areas.
If the only storage space for your only cleaning products is in the bathroom, start looking around for another room or closet near the bathroom. Maybe you can store everything under the kitchen sink and only keep one bottle of spray bleach on the toilet tank or on the floor next to the toilet to use after each toilet use.
If you continue to store your cleaning products in the same area as your toilet paper and tissues, you will never get the full benefits of these suggestions.
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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Q: Why Is It Hard For Some Women To Empty Their Bladders
A: It can be a very uncomfortable and unsatisfying feeling to have the sensation of needing to pee, but not being able to completely relieve your full bladder. This is called incomplete bladder emptying or urinary retention and its very common in women. This occurs when the muscles of your bladder are not able to squeeze properly in order to empty your bladder.
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Two problems are usually responsible for a womans sensation that she cant empty her bladder, or void, completely. One is dysfunction of the bladder muscle and the other is a blockage/obstructive process .
You may find it helpful to reposition yourself or lean forward on the toilet to help relax and empty your pelvic floor muscles while urinating. Specialized pelvic floor physical therapists can teach women to train their pelvic floor muscles to relax more completely during voiding.
Alternatively, women who have pelvic organ prolapse can simply reduce the prolapse bulge with their fingers to more fully empty their bladder. We can also fit people with a pessary to help alleviate symptoms.
There are solutions to this frustrating problem. Consult with your doctor to find what approach is right for you.
Certified nurse practitioner in Urogynecology and Pelvic Floor Disorders Abigail Anderson, CNP.
Treatment Options For Incomplete Bladder Emptying
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Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder of urine, leaving behind a volume of urine which can lead to complications. It is important to realize that some people can still pass some urine but still be in retention as the volume left in the bladder is too high.
A bladder which does not empty may still cause incontinence as it results in overflow urinary incontinence. Urinary retention is generally treated with the following:
- bladder drainage
- prostate medications
The inability to empty the bladder can have many causes, which are generally divided into acute urinary retention and chronic urinary retention.
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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: .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Urinary Retention
The signs can vary. Some people with the chronic form have a hard time starting the flow of urine. Some have a weak flow once they start. Others may feel the need to go but cant start. Others have to go a lot, while others still feel the need to go right after going. You may leak urine when you arent going because the bladder is full.
With the acute form, youre all of a sudden not able to go at all, or only able to go very small amounts. This occurs even though you have a full bladder. See a healthcare provider right away if this happens to you.
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Causes Of Urinary Retention
There are many different causes.
Blockage In men, the urethra may be constricted by an enlarged prostate a common condition for men over 50. In women, blockage can be caused by certain types of pelvic prolapse, including Cystocele and Rectocele .
Other blockage reasons for both men and women include urethral stricture and urinary stones.
Infection / Swelling In men, prostatitis , can cause swelling that blocks the free flow of urine. Urinary Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases can also cause swelling that leads to urinary retention.
Nerve Problems Urinary retention could be caused by a problem with the nerves that control the bladder. If the nerves are damaged, it can cause a breakdown in the signals between the brain and bladder. Some causes of nerve damage include:
What Symptoms Might Cause Your Healthcare Provider To Order Urodynamic Tests
These tests are done to diagnose problems in your lower urinary tract. The urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for removing wastes and extra fluid. The results of urodynamic testing will help you and your provider find the right treatment.
Most urodynamic tests are meant to discover how well the bladder is holding urine and how urine is empty. The bladder should be able to let out urine in a steady manner so that it empties all the way. Your bladder might contract without you wanting it to, which can lead to urine leakage.
Your healthcare provider might order these tests if you have:
- Any type of urine leakage or incontinence.
- Sudden and overwhelming urges to urinate and frequent urination.
- Pain when urinating or many urinary tract infections.
- Problems starting to urinate or fully emptying your bladder.
Symptoms like these indicate that you might have problems with your lower urinary tract.
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Mistake : Not Emptying Fully
When youre in a rush, incomplete bladder emptying can cause issues far more problematic than taking the extra minute or so in the bathroom. Similar to urine-holding, incomplete bladder emptying allows a reservoir of urine to collect that can potentially cause urinary infections. It can also increase the odds of developing another painful problembladder stones, which are salt crystals that sometimes form when urinary concentration or stasis develops.
Incomplete emptying isnt something you are always aware youre doing, but its a good idea to make an effort to ensure you are emptying your bladder, says Dr. Brito. He says this is a particular problem for older men with prostate issues. For them, incomplete bladder emptying can lead to a smaller functional bladder capacity and subsequent urinary frequency and urgency problems.
Often as men get older, they will not completely empty their bladder. The problem there is, if your bladders full and you empty it halfway and then drink fluids like you normally would, it fills up more quickly, says Dr. Brito.
Sometimes educating patients to take their time in the bathroom and ensure their bladder is as empty as possible can help, says Dr. Brito. Other times, patients may need medications or surgery to help the bladder empty better.
It’s A Medication Side Effect
Certain drugs can cause urinary retention. If you noticed that the problem began after starting a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, it could be to blame.
These types of meds all have the potential to affect bladder function, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
- Hormonal agents
- Muscle relaxants
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What Are The Complications Of Urinary Retention
Urinary Tract Infection
Urine is normally sterile, and the normal flow of urine usually prevents bacteria from growing in the urinary tract. When urine stays in the bladder, however, bacteria have a chance to grow and infect the urinary tract.
If the bladder becomes stretched too far or for long periods, the muscle may be permanently damaged and lose its ability to contract.
Chronic Kidney Disease
If urine backs up into the kidneys, permanent kidney damage can lead to reduced kidney function and chronic kidney disease. If you lose too much of your kidney function, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
What Is A Post
The amount of urine that remains in your bladder after you urinate is called post-void residual . A post-void residual urine test measures the amount of urine left in your bladder.
Ideally, when you go to the bathroom, your bladder should empty completely. But sometimes, urine stays in the bladder even after you think youve emptied it. The PVR test can tell your healthcare provider if youve completely emptied your bladder. A small amount of residual urine is generally ok, but large amounts can be concerning for urinary retention.
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