Urinary Retention Urologist - Dr. Angelo Gousse, MD
Urinary retention is when you have difficulty urinating because the urine has trouble leaving your bladder. The worst-case scenario is when no urine can leave your bladder. This condition is called acute urinary retention, which would require you to seek medical attention immediately.
It is preferable to visit a urologist when you have urinary retention issues. But if you have an emergency where you cannot urinate, you need to get to an emergency room at a hospital. They can help you drain the urine and give you temporary treatment until you make an appointment with a qualified urologist.
Urinary retention can sometimes be a temporary problem, but not always. If you develop chronic urinary retention, then it is a long-term problem. You will notice it becoming more challenging to start the urination process. And even when the urine does come out, it will flow slowly and weakly.
You may not be able to finish emptying your bladder either. The urine may stop coming out while you still feel like you have to urinate. It is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful problem that requires regular treatment from a qualified urologist.
What are the Symptoms of Urinary Retention?
Chronic urinary retention will cause you to have weak urinate flow or trouble getting the urine to come out. You may also feel the urge to urinate frequently, sometimes as much as eight times or more per day. And right after you urinate, it won’t be long before you want to urinate again.
If chronic urinary retention is not treated, it will turn into acute urinary retention. Acute urinary retention needs to be immediately treated because you won’t be able to pass urine through your bladder at all. Meanwhile, you will have the painful urge to want to urinate in your lower abdomen area.
No one should have to tolerate these uncomfortable and painful symptoms. The best thing you can do is seek medical attention from an emergency room physician or urologist. They can offer you treatments and solutions for the symptoms and the condition.
Why Do People Get Urinary Retention?
There are four primary causes of urinary retention: blockage, infection, nerve problems, and medications.
When a man develops an enlarged prostate, it puts a lot of pressure on their urethra. These prostate issues are usually seen in men over 50 years of age. The constriction causes blockage of the urine, making it more difficult to urinate.
Women can develop blockage too. It happens when they develop conditions like Cystocele or Rectocele. Cystocele is a condition where the bladder drops down into the vagina. Rectocele is when the large intestine or rectum drops onto the vagina. Both of which can restrict urine flow.
If a man gets a prostate infection (prostatitis) or urinary tract infection, they will develop swelling that affects their urinary tract area. The swelling will interfere with the free-flowing urine that passes through the urinary tract and prevent it from coming out as quickly.
Sexually transmitted diseases are another cause of urinary retention. It is the easiest way for bacteria to reach your urinary tract area and cause an infection that leads to urinary retention.
Nerves control the bladder muscles and functions. So if the nerves have suffered any kind of damage, it will limit the bladder’s capacity to function normally. After all, the bladder nerves have to communicate with the brain and vice versa. But if you have damaged nerves, they cannot send strong signals to the brain to control bladder function correctly.
Several types of prescription medications can cause someone to develop urinary retention. Some common medications that cause urinary retention are decongestants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and anticholinergics.
What Treatments are Available for Urinary Retention?
If you suffer from acute urinary retention and cannot urinate, you need a doctor to drain the urine from your bladder with a catheter. As for those suffering from chronic urinary retention, your problem is not as much of an emergency, but it must still be addressed.
The treatment begins with a physical examination by a primary care doctor and urologist. You can expect to receive a CT scan, urodynamic testing, cystoscopy, PSA blood test, and/or a post-void residual measurement. The doctor will know which tests are the most appropriate based on the particular symptoms experienced and other underlying factors.
If an enlarged prostate causes your urinary retention problem, the doctor will prescribe certain medications to reduce the prostate size. But if the medicines are not enough, the next step is to get a surgical procedure done to remove a portion of the enlarged prostate gland. Some surgeries even apply steam to the prostate to remove the obstructing material.
Are you ready to make an appointment with a qualified urologist for a complete physical examination of your urinary tract and bladder area? Call us at 954-362-2720 to set up an appointment with Dr. Angelo Gousse of Gousse Urology. He is the leading expert in treating and preventing urinary retention in men and women.