Inability to Urinate (cont.)
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Are There Home Remedies for Urinary Retention?
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Acute urinary retention requires immediate drainage for relief and thus a visit to your health-care provider or a hospital emergency department. You can try very limited care at home, but do not delay medical evaluation if you are in pain. Try sitting in a bathtub full of warm water to relax the pelvic floor muscles or running the water in the bathroom to stimulate the flow of urine.
Discuss your prescribed medications, as well as any over-the-counter medications that you may be taking with your doctor, to determine if one or more of your medications may be affecting your ability to urinate normally.
People with limited mobility (for example, after a medical illness or a surgery with prolonged recovery period) resulting in an inability to urinate can be encouraged to get up and walk, as this increased activity may facilitate urination.
What Is the Treatment for an Inability to Urinate?
If urinary retention is thought to be acute, severe, or painful, a Foley catheter may be inserted through the urethra into the bladder. This is a small, flexible rubber or silicone tube. Once it has reached the bladder, urine will drain out into a bag and the balloon is inflated to keep the catheter in place.
If a catheter cannot reach your bladder because of an obstruction in the urethra, an alternative procedure can be tried.
In the last few years, devices have become available that can help some people with chronic urinary retention. For example, an implantable device is available that stimulates the nerves that control the bladder. In some people, this helps the bladder relax and contract at the right times to allow urination.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/27/2016
Pamela I. Ellsworth, MD
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