Urinary Retention
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Reviewed By:

Jason Chandrapal, MD

Jason Chandrapal, MD (Urology)

Dr Chandrapal received his MD degree from Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine. After graduation he did a research fellowship with the University of Utah Division of Urology, followed by 4 years of urology residency at Duke University. In 2020 he began a 2 year tenure as an Interprofessional Advanced Clinical Simulation Fellow at the Durham VA in Durham, NC where he created and implemented clinical simulations with an emphasis on emotional intelligence. Additionally he has experience with medical writing and consultation for Buoy Health.

Nao Saito, MD

Nao Saito, MD (Urology)

After graduating from Tokyo Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Dr. Saito worked at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, Toda Chuo General Hospital, Tokyo Women's Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center, and Ako Chuo Hospital before becoming Deputy Director (current position) at Takasaki Tower Clinic Department of Ophthalmology and Urology in April 2020.

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

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About the Symptom

Feeling like you have not emptied your bladder after urinating. This can be due to blockage of the urethra, the tube that empties the bladder, or a weak bladder.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Feeling of urine remaining in my bladder

Possible causes

Generally, Urinary retention can be related to:

  • Interstitial cystitis

    Inflammation of the bladder's muscle layers. The exact cause is unclear so other treatable possible causes like infection need to be ruled out. Since the condition can last for a long time, coping strategies are important.

  • Overactive bladder

    This group of urinary symptoms causes patients to need to urinate frequently. They may also experience a sudden urge to urinate that is hard to control due to excessive bladder contractions.

  • Cystitis

    A type of urinary tract infection that involves only bacterial infection of the bladder.

  • Urethral stricture
  • Neurogenic bladder
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Trichomoniasis

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Urinary retention may be related to these serious diseases:

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do you struggle to fully empty your bladder?

  • Do you have pain when urinating?

  • Do you experience back pain?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Have you ever had red or brown urine?

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Reviewed By:

Jason Chandrapal, MD

Jason Chandrapal, MD (Urology)

Dr Chandrapal received his MD degree from Texas Tech Health Science Center School of Medicine. After graduation he did a research fellowship with the University of Utah Division of Urology, followed by 4 years of urology residency at Duke University. In 2020 he began a 2 year tenure as an Interprofessional Advanced Clinical Simulation Fellow at the Durham VA in Durham, NC where he created and implemented clinical simulations with an emphasis on emotional intelligence. Additionally he has experience with medical writing and consultation for Buoy Health.

Nao Saito, MD

Nao Saito, MD (Urology)

After graduating from Tokyo Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Dr. Saito worked at Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, Toda Chuo General Hospital, Tokyo Women's Medical University Yachiyo Medical Center, and Ako Chuo Hospital before becoming Deputy Director (current position) at Takasaki Tower Clinic Department of Ophthalmology and Urology in April 2020.

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