The inability to completely empty one’s bladder is referred to as urinary retention. Although anybody can experience this condition, it is more commonly seen in men who pass the age of 50 due to the enlargement of the prostate gland during this age period. For women, urinary retention may occur if her bladder moves out of the normal position or sags. Other common causes for urinary retention include a foreign obstruction in the urinary tract or problems dealing with the nerves. For some patients, the brain may not be receiving the proper signals to tell the body that the bladder needs to be emptied. Weakened bladder muscles can also be a cause.
The main symptoms of urinary retention are mild discomfort to severe pain. The amount of pain or discomfort depends upon how severe the problem is and what is causing it. It is likely that the sufferer will feel the need to urinate but be unable to do so and the lower part of their abdomen will be bloated. If the retention is chronic, it may be hard to get the stream of urine started, and once it begins it is slow and weak. No matter if it is chronic or not, the urge to frequently go will be present.
Treatment of urinary retention depends on the level of severity. It can range from catheterization to surgery. The underlying cause for the retention must be treated to get it under control and have a chance for a return of normalcy.