Urinary retention

Urinary retention

When the urethra is obstructed or when the detrusor is not able to contract well, urinary retention occurs. The bladder becomes completely filled with urine. Finally, the overflow bladder starts to leak urine. This phenomenon can be triggered by polydipsia, diuretics and acute confinement to bed with decreased alertness.

Obstruction of the urethra is mostly a masculine problem: enlargement of the prostate. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable.

The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.

Urethra obstruction can occur in men or women and can be due to an infection or a history of catheterisation. Diminished detrusor contraction is mostly a medication problem. Anticholinergics (antidepressants, antiarrhythmics, antihistamines, bronchodilators, neuroleptics etc.) and calcium-channel blockers interfere with the innervation of the detrusor.


Which of the following statements is true? Treatment of urinary retention is aimed at