Acute Urinary Retention In Women
What is acute urinary retention?
Acute Urinary Retention In Women Care Guide
- Acute Urinary Retention In Women
- Acute Urinary Retention In Women Aftercare Instructions
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Acute urinary retention is when your bladder is full, but you cannot urinate at all. This condition happens suddenly, gets worse quickly, and lasts a short time.
What causes acute urinary retention?
- Inflammation and infection: Childbirth, pelvic surgery, or a urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause swelling and block the urinary tract.
- Medicines: Some medicines and anesthesia can interfere with the nerves that allow you to urinate.
- Blockages: Your bladder, uterus, or rectum can move out of place and cause a blockage. This is also called a prolapse. Bladder stones or a growth in the urinary tract can also cause a blockage. The pressure caused by constipation can block the normal flow of urine.
- Weak bladder muscle: If you do not urinate when you feel you need to, the bladder stretches. Over many years, the muscle tone of the bladder changes and it does not empty as it should.
- Nerve damage: Diabetes, stroke, and spinal cord injuries can damage the nerves that control urine flow.
What are the signs and symptoms of acute urinary retention?
- Discomfort or pain in your lower abdomen
- An inability to urinate even though your bladder feels full
- A bloated lower abdomen
- Frequent urination, or the sensation that you still have to go after you finish urinating
- A urine stream that stops and starts on its own
How is acute urinary retention diagnosed?
Your caregiver will ask about your symptoms and any other health conditions you have. He will ask for a list of the medicines you take. He will ask if you have recently had surgery or given birth. He will press or tap on your lower abdomen to feel how much urine is inside your bladder. You may have any of the following tests:
- Pelvic exam: He may do a pelvic exam to find out if your bladder, uterus, or rectum has moved out of place.
- Neuro exam: Your caregiver may test your strength, balance, and movement. A neuro exam looks for changes in your brain and nervous system.
- Urine lab test: Caregivers collect a urine sample to test for blood or infection.
How is acute urinary retention treated?
Urinary retention may go away on its own in a few days, or you may need the following treatments:
- Foley catheter: This type of catheter remains in your bladder to constantly drain your urine into a bag.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
What are the risks of acute urinary retention?
- You may see blood in your urine while you use or after you use a catheter. The catheter may cause discomfort, and can injure your urinary tract. Urinary retention can cause an infection from the urine left in your bladder or the catheter used to treat it. An infection can spread to your blood and become life-threatening. Too much urine in the bladder can cause damage to the kidneys that may require lifelong treatment, or even a kidney transplant.
- Without treatment, the bladder may stretch too much. You could develop chronic urinary retention, a long-term condition that happens when you urinate, but your bladder does not empty. When you have chronic urinary retention, you may also have episodes of acute retention.
When should I contact my caregiver?
Contact your caregiver if:
- You have a fever.
- You feel the need to urinate more often than usual, or you feel pain when you urinate.
- You see blood in your urine.
- You have problems with your catheter.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
When should I seek immediate help?
Seek help immediately or call 911 if:
- You have severe pain in your abdomen.
- Your breathing and heart rate are faster than normal.
- Your face, hands, feet, or ankles are swollen.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.