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Incomplete emptying of the bladder

09 October 2013

This is also called retention of urine and can happen suddenly or the problem can develop over a period of time. The person may stop being able to pass urine at all and should be seen by a healthcare professional with some urgency.

Signs and symptoms include:

·         A poor stream or flow when trying to pass urine

·         Straining when passing urine

·         The need to pass urine more frequently but able to pass only small amounts of urine

·         Getting up at night more often to pass urine

·         A feeling that your bladder isn’t empty after passing urine

Causes of urine retention include:

·         An obstruction or narrowing at the outlet of the bladder. This could be due to enlargement of the prostate gland or tumour (both could purely be benign growth so don’t worry and assume that it is something more sinister)

·         Kidney or bladder stones

·         Infection

·         Spinal injury or coexisting medical condition

·         After an operation due to the anaesthetic

If you have noticed any changes in your bladder (or bowel) emptying habit have the confidence to speak to your local continence nurse, practice nurse or GP. Please don’t ignore the signs; there are people skilled to help you. It just takes one call, a call that could really make a difference to your quality of life. If you prefer not to speak to someone you can email me at karen.powell@clinisupplies.co.uk

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