Bladder Retention in Women: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Bladder Retention in Women: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options - Underleak

Bladder retention is a widespread issue affecting many women. This article will briefly discuss its causes, symptoms, and treatments, providing essential insights for effective management.


When it comes to bladder retention, there are several factors that can contribute to its development. Also, if you want to learn more about the reasons and symptoms, read this article <View> .  Now let's take a closer look at some of the common causes:

List of subjects who often suffer from bladder retention

Bladder retention can affect different groups of women, including:

  • Pregnant women: During pregnancy, hormonal changes and pressure on the bladder from the growing uterus can lead to bladder retention.
  • Premenopausal women: Hormonal fluctuations during the premenopausal phase can cause changes in bladder function and contribute to bladder retention.
  • Women with pelvic organ prolapse: Pelvic organ prolapse, a condition where the pelvic organs descend into the vaginal canal, can put pressure on the bladder and affect its ability to empty completely.
  • Women with neurological disorders: Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries can disrupt the nerve signals between the brain and the bladder, leading to bladder retention.
  • Women who have undergone pelvic surgery: Certain surgical procedures in the pelvic region can damage the nerves or weaken the muscles involved in bladder control, resulting in bladder retention.

List direct causes

The direct causes of bladder retention include:

  • Weak bladder muscles: When the muscles responsible for bladder control are weak or damaged, they may not contract effectively to empty the bladder completely.
  • Nerve damage: Damage to the nerves that control bladder function can disrupt the communication between the brain and the bladder, leading to retention.
  • Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can affect bladder function and contribute to retention.

List indirect causes

There are also indirect causes of bladder retention, which include:

  • Medications that affect bladder function: Certain medications, such as antihistamines or muscle relaxants, can interfere with bladder contractions and contribute to retention.
  • Urinary tract infections: Infections in the urinary tract can cause inflammation and irritation, leading to bladder retention.
  • Constipation: When the rectum is full of stool, it can put pressure on the bladder and affect its ability to empty properly.
  • Obesity: Excess weight can put strain on the pelvic muscles and affect bladder control, leading to retention.


Recognizing the symptoms of bladder retention is crucial for early intervention and effective management. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

List initial symptoms

In the early stages of bladder retention, women may experience:

  • Frequent urination: The need to urinate more often than usual is a common early symptom of bladder retention.
  • Difficulty starting urination: Women with bladder retention may find it challenging to initiate the flow of urine.
  • Weak urine flow: The urine stream may be weak or interrupted due to incomplete emptying of the bladder.

List symptoms that get worse

If bladder retention is not addressed promptly, the symptoms can worsen over time. Some of these worsening symptoms include:

  • Inability to completely empty the bladder: Women may feel like they still need to urinate even after visiting the bathroom, indicating that the bladder is not fully emptied.
  • Urinary urgency: The sudden and intense urge to urinate can be a sign of bladder retention.
  • Urinary incontinence: Bladder retention can lead to involuntary leakage of urine, especially when the bladder becomes overly full.

Related diseases if not intervened promptly

Related diseases if not intervened promptly

If left untreated, bladder retention can lead to various complications and related diseases, including:

  • Urinary tract infections: Incomplete emptying of the bladder can increase the risk of urinary tract infections, which can cause discomfort and further bladder dysfunction.
  • Kidney damage: When urine is retained in the bladder for extended periods, it can put pressure on the kidneys and potentially lead to kidney damage or infection.
  • Bladder stones: The stagnant urine in the bladder can form crystals and eventually develop into bladder stones, which can cause pain and further obstruct proper bladder function.

Prevention & Management

To prevent and manage bladder retention, there are several strategies that women can implement:

  • Use incontinence underwear products, such as leak-proof underwear from UnderLeak, to provide added protection and comfort. These specialized products are designed to absorb and contain any leakage, allowing women to go about their daily activities with confidence.< More infor >
  • Practice pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, to strengthen the bladder muscles. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which can improve bladder control and prevent retention.
  • Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet. Excess weight can put strain on the pelvic muscles and affect bladder function, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential for optimal bladder health.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as these substances can irritate the bladder and worsen symptoms of retention. It's important to limit or eliminate these drinks from your diet if you're experiencing bladder retention.
  • Stay hydrated and maintain regular bathroom habits. Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day helps keep the urine diluted and promotes regular urination, reducing the risk of retention.

By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and adopting preventive measures and management strategies, women can effectively cope with bladder retention and improve their quality of life.

Source : [1] "Urinary Retention in Women", U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, URL:

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