Difficulties with Passing Urine
What is urine retention?
In acute urine retention, the bladder fills up and person suffering feel the need to pass urine, but can't. The build up of urine can lead to great pain and a swelling of abdomen.
In chronic retention, it's possible to pass very small quantities of urine, but this is difficult and the bladder never completely empties. Hence, over time urine collects in the bladder.
Particularly in men over the age of 50 years of age, difficulties with passing urine and troublesome bladder symptoms may be due to benign prostatic enlargement. Sometimes they can be associated with urinary infection, bladder stones and various other conditions affecting the bladder. Mr. Feneley suggests that bothersome bladder symptoms should be investigated by a qualified consultant as their treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Symptoms of Urine Retention or Ischuria
It can be caused by conditions that affect the kidneys, bladder or prostate gland (in men). In acute urine retention, the symptoms develop very quickly and may include:
- Lower abdominal pain
- A painful urge to pass urine but the inability to do so
In case of chronic urine retention following symptoms may develop:
- Abdominal swelling
- Frequent sensation of wanting to pass urine
- Difficulty in starting to pass urine
- Weak flow of urine
- Dribbling at the end of passing urine and between times of passing urine
Causes and risk factors
Urine retention is caused by anything that prevents the normal flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from the bladder out of the body). It may be a stone that, by acting like a bath plug, prevents urine from leaving the bladder, or retention may be a side-effect of medication being taken for another medical problem.
In men, the most common cause is enlargement of the prostate gland which is usually benign, but prostate cancer can also cause urine retention.
Other obstructions include a narrowing of the urethra, which may arise because of infection or inflammation, or a tightening of the foreskin, called phimosis.
Constipation may also restrict the flow of urine because faeces in the rectum press on the urethra.
Treatment and recovery from Urine retention
Relief of urine retention is gained by inserting a catheter into the bladder to allow it to empty.
It's important to establish what was responsible for the problem and to treat this so the problem doesn't recur. This may involve tests on the bladder - for example, intravenous urography or cystoscopy - to identify a cause such as bladder stones. Other tests examine the urine and measure its flow.
Treatment will depend on the cause, but if the problem isn't treatable, it may be necessary for intermittent catheterisation to be performed or a permanent catheter to be left in place to ensure the bladder is emptied regularly.
Disclaimer: All information contained on the www.markfeneley.com website is intended for informational and educational purposes. The information is not intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment or for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.
We urge patient to always seek the advice of consultant or medical professional with respect to medical condition or questions. There is no substitute for personal medical treatment and advice from urology consultant.