Common Urology Problems


Urinary retention is the inability to empty the bladder completely. Urinary retention can be acute or chronic. Acute urinary retention happens suddenly and lasts only a short time. People with acute urinary retention cannot urinate at all, even though they have a full bladder. Acute urinary retention, a potentially life-threatening medical condition, requires immediate emergency treatment. Acute urinary retention can cause great discomfort or pain.Urinary retention is an inability to completely empty the bladder. Blockage can be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), urethral strictures, bladder stones, a cystocele, constipation, or tumors.

Symptoms of urinary retention may include:

  • • 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)

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:

  • • Stroke
  • • Vaginal childbirth
  • • 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:

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

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