Inability to Urinate (cont.)
The prognosis depends on the source of the problem.
- People with urinary retention caused by obstruction, infection, drugs, or the postoperative state generally recover much more easily than those with a nerve problem. The time frame for recovery varies, however.
- People who continue to have urinary retention despite treatment may need long-term therapy. The best option for long-term therapy is clean, intermittent catheterization.
- You or your caregiver can be taught how to insert a removable catheter into the bladder to allow urine to drain.
- Catheterization can either be a temporary measure until normal urination returns or be more permanent.
- The other option is placing a Foley catheter into the bladder either via the urethra or through the skin. Tubes will be changed monthly to limit the risk of infection.
- Clean, intermittent catheterization also remains a treatment option for people who can urinate but cannot completely empty the bladder.
- Sometimes, by teaching a person to self-catheterize one to three times per day, the problem can be improved significantly.
Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology
Previous contributing authors and editors:
Author:Stuart M Gaynes, MD, Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Olathe Medical Center.
Kathryn L Hale, MS, PA-C, Medical Writer, eMedicine.com, Inc.
Editors:Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; James Ungar, MD, Medical Director, Chair Department of Emergency Medicine Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Leveillee, Raymond J., and Vipul R. Patel. "Benign Prostate Hyperplasia." eMedicine.com. June 8, 2009. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/437359-overview>.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/5/2014
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