Urinary Retention In Women

An Overview of Urinary Retention in Women

Urinary retention in women

Woman experiencing urinary retention

Urinary retention in women is simply the inability to urinate, which occurs more commonly in women than in men. Women suffering from urinary retention are not able to pass urine despite the persistent urge to urinate.

Some women suffer from acute urinary retention while others suffer from chronic urinary retention. There are many factors that can cause urinary retention to occur in women, and several things can be done to cure it.

In numerous cases, it is possible to cure urinary retention completely, but at times, the only way to alleviate it is by employing constant measures to empty the bladder.

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Causes of Urinary Retention in Women

Based on the cause behind urinary retention, its severity in women can vary. The following things can cause women to suffer from urinary retention.

Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a major cause of urinary retention, which more commonly occurs in women than men. Along with the inability to urinate, women also feel a burning sensation when they are suffering urinary tract infection.

Obstruction from Bladder Stones

If the opening of their urethra is obstructed with bladder stones, this can also cause women to suffer from urinary retention. The obstruction makes it difficult for women to pass urine, if though they feel the urge to urinate. If bladder stones are causing urinary retention, then women will feel abdominal pain while urinating. At times, they might even pass bloody urine.

Vaginal Prolapse

Another urinary retention in women is when their bladder slides out of place as a result of the prolapsing of the anterior vaginal wall. The urethra gets blocked as a result of this and can make it painful to pass urine.

Reaction of Certain Medications

Women can also suffer from urinary retention if they are taking antihistamines, anti-depressants or medications for muscle spasms, etc. Women can also end up suffering from acute urinary retention if they have undergone surgery with anesthesia.

Treatments for Urinary Retention in Women

Women are advised to visit their health care specialist immediately if they identify symptoms that relate to any of the mentioned causes of urinary retention. Based on the cause, women can go for both non-surgical and surgical treatment. Based on your condition, often women are suggested to take medication, while they are also advised physical therapy.

Pelvic Floor Therapy

A variety of techniques such as biofeedback, behavioral training, bladder training, gentle manipulation and manual therapy are used by a specialized physical therapist for this therapy.


Women suffering from urination can do clean intermittent self-catheterizing on their own. In this treatment, they have to insert a small tube to their bladder through their urethra. Women can do this a couple of seconds after urinating so that they can pass out the rest of the urine in their bladder. Self catheterizing is an ideal treatment for women suffering from chronic urinary retention.

However, often the catheter is inserted by the doctor in cases of acute urinary retention, which is generally done after a surgery.


Urinary retention in women can also be treated using several surgical options. The InterStim therapy approved by the FDA is one of these surgical options, in which surgeons implant a small device in one of the upper buttocks, under the skin.

The device stimulates the nerve and restores the natural functionality of the bladder. Urethrolysis is another surgical procedure that can be used to cure urinary retention. Women who have had suffered a condition of involuntary urination in the past and are now suffering from urinary retention because of it can opt for this surgical procedure.

Vaginal Pessary

Women suffering from urinary retention can also undergo a non-surgical procedure, in which a device called the vaginal pessary is inserted in the vagina. The vaginal wall is supported by the device, and the bladder is able to fall back into place. This way, women are able to pass urine normally and completely once again. A vaginal pessary is available in various sizes.

Now that the causes and treatment of urinary retention in women have been specified, women suffering from it will be able to identify it at the right time and get it treated. For effective treatment, women suffering from urinary retention should not forget to pay a visit to their health care specialist.

Click here to learn the natural solution to defeat urinary incontinence

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  1. […] retention, also referred to as ischuria is a condition that is characterized by inability to urinate. Some patients who are suffering from this condition have a bladder that does not empty completely […]

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