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Why Might You Struggle with Urinary Retention?

3 Key Takeaways:

  • Urinary retention is a condition where one cannot empty their bladder completely and is marked by difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak urine flow, or frequent need to urinate.
  • Urinary retention can be caused by obstructive or non-obstructive causes and is more prevalent amongst older men, pregnant/postpartum women, and those with certain medical conditions or lifestyle habits.
  • Prevention of urinary retention starts with understanding the causes and risk factors, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and scheduling regular check-ups and screenings. Early detection is key in order to prevent the progression of this condition.

Why Might You Struggle with Urinary Retention?Urinary retention, a serious yet often overlooked condition, is a situation where one cannot empty their bladder completely. A basic understanding of its causes can serve as a pivotal ferrule against this discomfiture. It is the responsibility of our urologists in FL to shed light on this issue.

What is urinary retention?

The urinary system plays an instrumental role in our health by eliminating waste products. Normal urination is a seamless process, beginning with bladder muscle contractions and ending when we voluntarily allow the urethra, the exit path, to open. Yet, when abnormal, this process results in urinary retention. This condition, marked by the inability to completely empty the bladder, can be agonizing and disruptive, often hampering one’s quality of life.

Causes of Urinary Retention

Urinary retention can occur due to obstructive and non-obstructive causes. Among men, an enlarged prostate can obstruct the urethra, causing bladder emptying to become an uphill battle. Other obstructions come in the form of bladder or urethral stones common in both sexes and urinary tract infections. However, not all urinary retention is due to blockages. Non-obstructive causes involve weak bladder muscles, nerve problems impacting bladder control, or certain medications and medical treatments.

Risk Factors for Urinary Retention

Urinary retention doesn’t discriminate; it targets all regardless of age and gender. However, its prevalence is higher amongst older men, due to prostate enlargement. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and neurological disorders, can make you more vulnerable to this condition. Women can experience urinary retention due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Moreover, some lifestyle factors like sedentary behavior, excessive fluid intake, or substance abuse can increase the risk.

Recognizing Urinary Retention

Symptoms of urinary retention include difficulty in starting or stopping urination, weak urine flow, or a frequent need to urinate. You might face discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen, signaling you can’t empty your bladder completely.

Complications of Urinary Retention

This condition does not come without consequences. It can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder damage and an increased risk of urinary tract stones. If left untreated, the risk runs to the extreme of kidney damage and renal failure.

Diagnosing Urinary Retention

Diagnosis starts with a thorough medical history and physical examination. Urine tests, cultures, and imaging tests help us identify the underlying causes. Additionally, urodynamic studies provide insights into how well the bladder, sphincters, and urethra store and release urine.

Treatment Options for Urinary Retention

Treatments vary, ranging from catheterization, medications, behavior techniques, to surgical options. The choice depends on the underlying cause and severity of the condition.

Preventing Urinary Retention

Prevention starts with adopting healthy lifestyle habits, treating underlying medical conditions, and scheduling regular check-ups and screenings. Early detection is paramount in preventing the progression of this condition.


It’s crucial to take note of any changes in your urinary habits, as they may signal the onset of urinary retention. With a blanket of understanding on its causes and risk factors, you can nip this condition in the bud.

At Advanced Urology Institute, Florida’s largest urology practice, we are here to help. Our team of experienced urologists provide top-notch care, specializing in detecting and treating urinary retention. Don’t let urinary retention dampen your spirit. Reach out to us, and let’s conquer this condition together.


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Advanced Urology Institute

Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients by providing excellent Patient-Centered Care. Set an appointment or visit our closest office near you.

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