Pelvis | Urology | Urinary Retention (Symptom)
Urinary retention is defined as the inability to completely or partially empty the bladder.
Causes of urinary retention are numerous and can be classified as obstructive, infectious and inflammatory, pharmacologic, neurologic, or other. The most common cause of urinary retention is benign prostatic hyperplasia. Other common causes include prostatitis, cystitis, urethritis, and vulvovaginitis; receiving medications in the anticholinergic and alpha-adrenergic agonist classes; and cortical, spinal, or peripheral nerve lesions.
Urine retention can affect both males and females of all ages. However, it occurs most often in men who are in their 50s and 60s, and the incidence increases with age. Men in this age group often suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate. The prostate surrounds the urethra and can obstruct or squeeze the urethra when it is enlarged, causing urinary retention. Other causes of urinary retention include infections, disorders of the bladder, injury or trauma, vaginal childbirth, side effects of certain medications, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and nerve damage.