Mediclinic Al Sufouh

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Urine retention

Urine retention

Table of Contents


Urine retention is when the bladder does not empty after urination. Acute urine retention occurs when the patient has an extreme urge and is not able to urinate. His bladder is full, and the lower abdomen is painful and tender.

Chronic urinary retention is when the bladder empties partially after urination. In this case, pain is not common, but the patient needs to urinate in small amounts and frequently.

Urine retention is uncommon in young and adults, while it is more frequent while ageing.

Causes of urine retention

Lower urinary tract obstruction and low bladder contractility are the reasons:


Patients suffering from acute urine retention need immediate bladder catheterization. The catheter can be inserted through the urethra or a small incision in the lower abdomen (suprapubic catheterization) when a stricture or a big prostate seriously obstructs the urethra.

A proper diagnostic workup allows the urologist to detect the cause of urine retention and to recommend the appropriate treatment.

External resource

Bladder catheterization (video)