Health Tips for Urinary Retention

You’re looking for relief from uncomfortable urinary retention symptoms – and we have the solution. Here, we’ll provide actionable health tips to help you manage this chronic condition. Spend less time in discomfort and regain your active lifestyle.

Quick facts: Health Tips For Urinary Retention

Understanding Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is a medical condition in which the bladder is unable to fully empty itself of urine. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including nerve damage, infection, or an obstruction. It is important to understand the causes and risk factors associated with urinary retention in order to prevent it from happening in the first place.

In this article, we will look at the key points to consider and how to manage urinary retention:

Causes of Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is a condition where the individual experiences difficulty in urinating or an inability to completely empty his/her bladder. It can be caused by both physical and psychological factors, though there are certain medical conditions that can increase the risk of developing it.

Physically, urinary retention is commonly caused by:

  • Blockage due to an enlarged prostate gland in men, or constriction of the urethra due to pelvic muscles that have tightened too much in women.
  • Neurological issues such as a spinal cord injury or stroke can also result in difficulty initiating and maintaining urination.
  • Additionally, long-term use of certain medications (particularly those used for treating psychological conditions) may lead to urinary retention as one of their side effects.

Finally, psychological issues such as anxiety and stress can make it difficult to urinate due to muscle tension in the pelvic area.

Symptoms of Urinary Retention

Urinary retention is a condition in which the bladder doesn’t completely empty. Symptoms of urinary retention can include: difficulty initiating urination, straining to urinate, incomplete emptying of the bladder, and frequent urinary tract infections.

If left untreated, urinary retention can cause serious health issues including increased risk for kidney stones, damaged kidneys, and bladder infections.

When struggling with urinary retention, it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to your healthcare provider about potential treatments such as self-catheterization or lifestyle changes such as reducing fluid intake and avoiding caffeine. Additionally, there may be medications that can help improve urine flow or relax the bladder muscles.

With proper diagnosis and treatment plans in place, symptoms of urinary retention can be reduced and even eliminated over time.


As with any medical condition, the best way to deal with urinary retention is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Taking preventive steps and being aware of the risk factors are the best tools for avoiding this condition. Some lifestyle changes and healthy habits can help you reduce your risk of developing urinary retention.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can do this:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Avoid straining when urinating.
  • See your doctor if you have any symptoms.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking plenty of water and other fluids is one of the most important tips for preventing urinary retention. This helps keep the urine diluted and reduces episodes of infection or bladder irritation that can cause urinary retention. To help prevent urinary retention, doctors recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. It is also important to avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda, as these can act as diuretics and increase the amount of urine released in a short period.

It is also important to limit alcoholic beverages since alcohol has a diuretic effect that can lead to more concentrated urine, which could increase your risk for developing urinary retention.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is a key component in preventing urinary retention and other bladder-related issues. Regular physical activity helps strengthen the muscles that help prevent urinary retention and keeps them healthy. Participating in activities like swimming, jogging, biking, walking, and yoga can help reduce your risk of developing urinary tract problems. Additionally, these activities will also give you a boost in physical strength, energy levels, and mental well-being.

It’s recommended to participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day for optimal health benefits. Furthermore, stretching before and after exercising can also minimize the risk for developing urinary tract issues due to increased flexibility.

Avoid Certain Foods

If you’re living with urinary retention, you may want to consider incorporating dietary changes in order to manage your symptoms. For starters, avoid or restrict certain foods that can contribute to bladder irritation, such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and acidic fruits like oranges and lemons.

You’ll also want to limit your consumption of processed foods and added sugars which can further irritate the bladder. Additionally, try to avoid eating acidic foods close to bedtime as this can make it more difficult for you to sleep at night.

Finally, beware of consuming too many fluids – even water – before bedtime as this could also cause a full bladder feeling throughout the night. Aim for drinking excessive fluids earlier in the day and reduce your intake after dinner time. By making small adjustments here and there you should start to notice some improvements in urinary retention symptoms over time.


Treatment for urinary retention depends on the underlying cause. Your doctor may prescribe medications to relax the muscles of the bladder or to reduce the amount of urine your body makes. If an obstruction is causing the problem, your doctor may need to surgically remove it. Other treatments may include lifestyle and dietary modifications and pelvic floor physical therapy.

Let’s look at these treatments in more detail:

  • Medications to relax the muscles of the bladder or to reduce the amount of urine your body makes.
  • Surgical removal of an obstruction, if present.
  • Lifestyle and dietary modifications.
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy.


Urinary retention is a medical condition where the bladder is unable to completely empty itself, resulting in the buildup of urine, and can cause difficulty with urinating or problems holding urine. To treat urinary retention, medications can be prescribed to help relax the muscles in the bladder or to help increase urine output.

The following are some types of medications that may be used to treat urinary retention:

  • Alpha blockers work by blocking hormones that typically cause an increase in muscle contraction and pressure on the bladder. These can be used either as the primary treatment or in combination with other medications.
  • Anticholinergic drugs help relax bladder muscles, improving symptoms such as increased urinary frequency and urgency. In some cases, anticholinergic drugs may be used as a single drug for treatment; however, combining with another medication may lead to more substantial improvements for severe cases of urinary retention.
  • Antispasmodic drugs are another possible treatment option for those suffering from urinary retention and work similarly to alpha blockers by blocking certain pathways that cause involuntary muscle contractions which interfere with urination.


Catheterization is a treatment used for urinary retention. It involves inserting a small tube called a catheter into the bladder to remove urine when it cannot be released naturally. Your doctor may recommend this procedure depending on the cause of the urinary retention (obstruction, prostate enlargement, etc). The catheter may be inserted transurethrally (through the urethra) or via an incision in the abdomen.

Catheterization can help treat urinary retention by draining excess urine from your bladder and allowing it to heal. It can also help you regain normal urination patterns, reduce discomfort due to an over-filled bladder, and prevent infection from repeated episodes of urinary stasis. However, it can cause pain, discomfort, infection and other complications such as bladder spasms. Therefore, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have before undergoing this procedure.


Surgery is a medical procedure used to treat urinary retention, a condition in which the patient is unable to completely empty their bladder. The surgery involves creating an artificial opening in the bladder, which allows urine to be released more easily. In some cases, other tissues such as the urethra and prostate may also be treated. Surgery can reduce bladder capacity and result in improvement of symptoms such as pain, incontinence, and recurrent infections.

Surgery should always be discussed with a doctor before any decisions are made. Side effects after surgery vary from person to person; however some common side effects include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding or discomfort at the site of incision
  • Decreased bladder control or increased frequency of urination

Lifestyle Changes

In order to reduce the risk of urinary retention, lifestyle changes may be necessary. Some of these include:

  • Reducing the consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Quitting smoking.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

Additionally, avoiding tight-fitting clothes and reducing straining when having a bowel movement can also help reduce the risk of urinary retention. Let’s take a look at some other lifestyle changes that may be beneficial.

Stress Management

Stress management is an important lifestyle change for managing urinary retention. When we are stressed, hormones are released that constrict the muscles in the bladder, which can cause difficulty initiating and maintaining urination.

There are numerous stress management techniques you can use to help reduce your stress levels. These include deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and walking on a regular basis. Additionally, make sure to get adequate rest and engage in enjoyable activities on a regular basis.

If your stress levels remain high despite trying lifestyle modifications such as these, then it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of a psychotherapist or other mental health professional to develop an appropriate plan for managing your stress.

Diet Modifications

Making certain dietary modifications can also help to reduce the symptoms of urinary retention. Aim to eat more fruits, vegetables, fibrous foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals as these can help make urination easier. Additionally, you should avoid foods that contain a lot of sugar, sodium and fat as these can be detrimental to your health. Consuming caffeinated beverages is also not recommended due to its diuretic properties.

Try to drink more water and other fluids throughout the day as this will help flush out any toxins that may have accumulated in your bladder and aid in maintaining a healthy bladder function. Eating smaller meals on a regular basis may also prove beneficial as it will lessen the amount of urine produced each time; this is especially helpful for people suffering from urinary retention caused by an enlarged prostate or weak bladder muscles.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor exercises, also called Kegels, are widely recommended for people who experience urinary retention. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can help a person regain full control over their urinary system.

Pelvic floor exercises involve repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles of the genital and anal area. For instance, when performing these exercises, a person may contract their pelvic floor muscles as if they are trying to hold in urine or trying to stop themselves from passing gas. They should then relax the muscles completely for about 10 seconds before repeating the exercise. Over time, these contractions will become weaker as strength increases, and eventually it will be possible to perform all 10 repetitions with lighter contractions.

Doing this type of exercise regularly can not only help with urinary retention but also improve bladder control and reduce incontinence overall.

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing urinary retention, it is important to understand when you should see a doctor. Urinary retention can be a sign of a more serious underlying issue, so seeking medical advice is essential.

Here we look at when to see a doctor when dealing with urinary retention:

Signs and Symptoms

Urinary Retention is a condition in which the bladder does not fully empty when passing urine. Common signs and symptoms of urinary retention include difficulty starting urination, weak stream, feeling of incomplete emptying, increased frequency of urination, straining to urinate, and pain before or during urination. If you are experiencing any of these issues it is important to seek medical attention to properly diagnose the cause.

In addition to the above symptoms it is also possible for people with Urinary Retention to experience more severe effects such as:

  • an inability to pass any urine at all
  • overflow incontinence (gradual leakage of small volumes of urine).

Such signs and symptoms need urgent medical attention as they can potentially lead to serious medical complications such as kidney damage or infections. If you experience any of these more severe symptoms it is important that you contact your doctor right away.


When it comes to diagnosing urinary retention, your doctor will ask about any signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, such as difficulty starting urination or a weak urine stream. They’ll also review your medical history, including any urinary tract problems you may have had in the past. A physical examination will likely follow, with your doctor looking for any physical signs of urinary retention such as an enlarged bladder or distended abdomen.

In addition to a physical exam, your doctor may order additional tests like an ultrasound or cystoscopy. During an ultrasound imaging test, sound waves bounce off tissues in the body and create a picture of the bladder on a computer screen. A cystoscopy is when a thin tube with a lens is inserted into the bladder through the urethra so your doctor can get a closer look at what’s going on inside.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for urinary retention depend on the underlying cause and individual circumstances. In most cases, medications or devices used to help empty the bladder are employed. If medications are prescribed, these may include:

  • Anticholinergics, which relax the bladder muscles in order to increase urination;
  • Alpha blockers, which reduce muscle contractions in order to allow urine to flow; and
  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which help shrink the prostate and make it easier for urine to flow.

Devices such as catheters can also be inserted into the bladder if necessary to help drain it. If a blockage is causing the urinary retention or other structural abnormalities exist, then surgery may be recommended by a doctor.

In addition, lifestyle modifications such as drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine might be recommended to avoid any worsening of symptoms associated with urinary retention. A physician may also recommend exercise or physical therapy programs tailored towards easing pelvic floor muscles spasms that can contribute to urinary retention issues.

FAQs about: Health Tips For Urinary Retention

Q: What is urinary retention?

A: Urinary retention is a condition in which the bladder is unable to empty completely, causing it to become abnormally full.

Q: What are the symptoms of urinary retention?

A: Symptoms of urinary retention may include difficulty starting to urinate, weak urine stream, straining to urinate, frequent urination, feeling of incomplete emptying, or painful urination.

Q: How can I manage urinary retention?

A: To manage urinary retention, it is important to drink an adequate amount of fluids, avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, practice pelvic floor exercises, and practice timed voiding.

Similar Posts