Unable to empty your bladder

Unable to empty your bladder?

Urine staying too long in your bladder may eventually lead to kidney failure. Make sure you recognize the symptoms of urinary retention.

Symptoms of urinary retention

If you have urinary retention, you might experience one or more of the following symptoms:

- Not being able to urinate
- Discomfort
- Urgent sense to urinate but weak flow
- Dribble due to overflow incontinence
- Bloated lower abdomen

Why does it happen?

Urinary retention can be caused by an obstruction in the urinary tract, a bladder muscle weakness or by damage to the nervous system caused by e.g. multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury or spina bifida (neurogenic conditions).

People with nerve damage may experience that their bladder muscles don’t get the message that it is time to release urine or the muscles are too weak to empty the bladder completely.

Urine that stays too long in the bladder may lead to an infection and urine may back up, leading to pressure and damage to the kidneys.

Urinary retention may also lead to overflow incontinence.

Consult your doctor if you experience one of the symptoms of urinary retention.

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