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Inability to Urinate (cont.)

Inability to Urinate Symptoms

With urinary retention, there is an inability to empty the bladder despite an urge to urinate. Some people have the following symptoms:

  • Most people with acute urinary retention also feel pain in the lower abdomen (pelvis) along with inability to urinate. Chronic urinary retention is usually painless because some amount of urine is able to get out of the bladder. This can become painful with the absence of urination or if the amount of retained urine increases.
  • A small amount of urine may leak out of the bladder but generally not enough to relieve symptoms.
  • With chronic urinary retention or sensory problems, there may be no symptoms.
  • Back pain, fever, and painful urination may indicate a urinary tract infection.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2015

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