What is Urinary Retention?

Urinary Retention is a complication in which you are unable to pass urine, caused by many other conditions or complaints. It can be caused by nerve dysfunction, urinary tract infections, stricture disease, spinal disorders and certain medications.

Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency and requires urgent medical attention. This can often leave someone with over one litre of urine in their bladder which can put pressure on the kidneys and cause renal failure. If you feel unable to pass urine it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Often there will be various tests to undergo which help identify a cause for bladder retention these include: bladder scan, an ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder, urodynamics and cystoscopies.

Managing Urinary Retention

managing-urinary-retentionChronic urinary retention is a period of prolonged incapability to pass urine. This can be a lifelong condition for many and is managed by either intermittent self-catheterisation (ISC) / clean self-catheterisation (CIC) or a urostomy stoma. Intermittent self-catheterisation can be in the form of a permanent indwelling catheter or an intermittent catheter. A permanent catheter can either be urethral or suprapubic which is via the abdomen. Intermittent self-catheterisation is often taught to people as this is a less invasive option rather than a permanent catheter. If neither of these options are beneficial or surgical intervention is required for long term options this may involve a urostomy (stoma) or a mitrofanoff (urinary continent diversion).