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Acute Urinary Retention in Women


Acute urinary retention (AUR) means your bladder is full, but you cannot urinate. This condition happens suddenly, gets worse quickly, and lasts a short time.

Female Urinary System


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • You are breathing faster than usual.
  • Your heartbeat is faster than usual.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe abdominal pain.
  • Your face, hands, feet, or ankles are swollen.

Call your doctor or gynecologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain when you urinate.
  • You see blood in your urine.
  • You have problems with your catheter.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Foley catheter care:

You may need a Foley catheter while you are at home. Healthcare providers will give you a smaller leg bag to collect urine. Keep the bag below your waist. This will prevent urine from flowing back into your bladder and causing an infection or other problems. Also, keep the tube free of kinks so the urine will drain properly. Do not pull on the catheter. This can cause pain and bleeding, and may cause the catheter to come out. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on Foley catheter care.

Follow up with your doctor or gynecologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Acute Urinary Retention in Women (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.