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.
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