Urinary retention (UR) means someone is unable to completely empty their bladder. They may only produce a "dribble" of urine. Others strain to push out the urine, or can't urinate at all.
There are a number of conditions that can keep your bladder from emptying. Each typically falls under one of these four categories:
When urinary retention is acute, it can be very painful. It can also be life-threatening. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a health care provider right away:
Your doctor will try to diagnose your problem with a physical exam and by measuring how much urine is left in your bladder after you urinate.
With both acute and chronic UR, your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history, give you a physical examination, and may perform tests to determine what’s causing your urinary retention.
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