Urinary Retention

What is Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is the inability to completely empty the bladder, and can either be chronic or acute. Chronic can be long-lasting medical condition while acute occurs suddenly and only lasts a short amount of time. You can urinate if you have chronic retention, but you will not be able to completely empty the urine from your bladder. If you are suffering from acute retention, you will not be able to urinate, even with a full bladder. It is a life-threatening medical condition that requires immediate emergency attention.

What are the causes?

The most common causes of urinary retention are:

  • An obstruction of the urethra, which blocks normal urine flow out of the body
  • Weakened bladder muscles that cannot contract long enough to completely empty the bladder
  • Issues with the nerves that control the bladder and sphincter
  • Certain medications that can interfere the nerve signals to the prostate and bladder

What are the symptoms?

Chronic urinary retention symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination (8 or more times per day)
  • An urgent need to urinate but a lack of success when trying
  • A weak or interrupted stream
  • Problems when trying to start urination
  • A need to urinate after you’ve just finished urinating
  • Constant, mild discomfort in the urinary tract and lower abdomen

If you have chronic urinary retention, you may not have any symptoms that will lead you to seek medical care. If you are unaware of it, there may be a great chance of complications down the road. You may not be aware that you have this condition until you develop another problem, like urinary incontinence, loss of bladder control, a urinary tract infection (UTI), or an illness caused by harmful bacteria in the urinary tract.

Acute urinary retention symptoms require immediate medical attention and include:

  • An inability to urinate
  • Discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen
  • Bloating of the lower abdomen
  • An urgent and painful need to urinate

Diagnosis and Treatments in Torrance, California

If you are experiencing urinary issues or if you are experiencing pain in your urinary tract and lower abdomen, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shelby Morrisroe today. Dr. Morrisroe will provide you with the correct diagnosis, and will discuss the proper treatment. Treatments may include: surgery, prostate medication, bladder drainage, urethral stents and dilation. Call (310) 542-0199 or schedule online to get professional medical help in Torrance.


*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(310) 542-0199