Body gets rid of waste and toxins, alongside excess water in the form of urine. It gets stored in the bladder. When it is finally full enough, the body feels the urge to empty the bladder. This very basic function in the body may not be realized by many until afflicted with a disease like urinary retention.
What is Urinary Retention
Urinary retention is the state in which the bladder is unable to empty itself fully, even when full. Both men and women can suffer from urinary retention, although it is more common amongst older men.
There are two types of urinary retention, acute and chronic. The former presents suddenly and is very severe as well. It can also be life threatening. Therefore, if anyone experiences urinary retention, they should visit urologist in Islamabad right away, lest their life gets endangered.
Symptoms of acute urinary retention include a very urgent need to urinate, yet the person cannot pee. It leads to extreme discomfort and pain in the pelvic region. Urine builds up in the body as well.
In chronic urinary retention, the problem sets in gradually. Men more commonly have chronic urinary retention. It tends to start off with not being able to empty the bladder completely, which may not be that noticeable. However, this condition aggravates over time.
What are the causes of urinary retention?
Urinary retention can be caused by various factors, including issues with the muscles and the nerves of the region. Common culprits include:
If there is any infection in urethra, it can swell and thus flow of the urine gets blocked. It is common due to UTIs. Some STIs can also lead to infection and consequent swelling in the urethra.
In men, infection of the prostate can also result in inflammation and the subsequent obstruction. Balanitis is another condition that may lead to urinary retention. In it, the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis may get infected. Inflammation ensues, that can cause obstruction and hence urinary retention.
Since nerves play just as an important part in the process of urination; brain sends signals to the bladder to tighten to push the urine out, and the sphincter connecting the bladder and urethra to relax to let urine flow out of the body.
If signals to either of these muscles are affected, fluid retention can occur. It is experienced usually in the aftermath of stroke, due to diabetes, in nervous disorders like Multiple Sclerosis.
Injury to the spine or problems with spine can also cause problems with fluid retention. Women who give vaginal birth are also at risk of nerve issues, causing fluid retention.
There are certain medicines that can reduce bladder’s ability to squeeze the urine out of the body, or cause issues with the respective sphincter muscles.
Medicines that commonly cause this problem include amphetamines, antihistamines, NSAIDs, some opioids, muscle relaxants, Parkinson’s medication, certain antipsychotic drugs etc.
Obstruction or Blockage
Urethra takes the urine from the bladder and expels it out of the body. Any obstruction in either of the parts can result in the retention of the fluid.
Common issues that can lead to obstruction include presence of urinary tract stones, inflammation in the urethra that thus constricts it and prevents the flow. If there is any foreign object in the urethra or there is urethral stricture, urinary retention can occur.
Similarly, a blood clot in the bladder or tumor in the region can also obstruct the flow of the urine.
Injury to the penis
In men, if there is trauma to the penis resulting in injury or cut, it too can swell, leading to urethral obstruction.
Medication given prior to surgery can cause post-op urinary retention. Certain surgeries including hip replacement, rectal or pelvic surgery, etc. can also result in this problem.
Symptoms to watch out for
Urinary retention can lead to other problems in the body, notwithstanding the discomfort that it brings. A timely medical aid can prevent the problem and the subsequent complications from exacerbating.
Symptoms to watch out for include inability to tell when the bladder is full, urine stream that is weak or goes intermittently, frequent urination that may then cause you to get up several times in the night, and urinary incontinence.
Moreover, people might also experience leakage of urine. It is hard for them to start urinating as well. They also have a feeling of fullness to the bladder, as the urine retention leads to pressure on the muscles.
It is crucial for people experiencing these symptoms to visit the best urologist in Lahore for timely medical assistance.