Urinary Retention

Patients who visit Dr. Gandhi's practice and complain of the inability to urinate may be experiencing a condition called ischuria, also known as urinary retention. Urinary retention is a problematic condition that can develop due to:
  • Nerve dysfunction
  • Spinal cord conditions
  • Medications
  • Infection of the urinary tract
  • Chronic constipation
Patients with urinary retention may find that it is difficult to start the urinary flow. They may notice that when the flow begins, it is intermittent or that they must strain in an attempt to fully void the bladder of urine. If a patient is unable to urinate at all, this can lead to anuria, which can result in the failure of the kidneys, tumors, or the development of kidney stones. This is a medical emergency and requires catheterization to empty the bladder fully and relieve the condition. Untreated urinary retention may lead to the development of more serious conditions including chronic kidney disease, permanent damage to the bladder, and urinary tract infections.

Urinary retention may be diagnosed with a variety of tests, including:
  • A complete physical pelvic examination
  • Urine sample
  • Bladder scan
  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • Urodynamics testing
  • Cystoscopy
A combination of these may be required for a full picture of the condition to confirm proper diagnosis.

Ischuria treatment typically begins with catheterization. This removes the urine to drain the bladder and relieves the initial distress of the condition. It may eliminate any discomfort that a patient is feeling, and allows the doctor to begin treatment. Some cases of ischuria are temporary, and should improve on their own. However, if patients continue to experience chronic signs of ischuria, they may be educated on using catheters regularly to void the bladder and reduce the risk of more chronic conditions.

Urinary retention is a condition that should be addressed as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment is the key to improving health and reducing the risk of more permanent damage to the urinary tract.

If you are a patient in the Illinois community that is experiencing the signs and symptoms of ischuria or may have a possible bladder infection, contact Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology today to schedule an appointment and seek relief.