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What causes retention of urine?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15758 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in Urinary and Bladder Problems
Question: Hi, I have a friend here who says he has for 2 days now he really cannot urinate. If so, it is just a little bit. He has aching pains right below his belly button. He is a 40-year-old Hispanic male. I have advised him to go to the doctor. However, he insists that he will wait until tomorrow. Please advise.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
needs to go to the hospital

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

You are right in advising that he visit a doctor.

Retention of urine can occur due to different causes. In males, the most common cause is benign (non cancerous) enlargement of the prostate.
Other causes are (1)prostate cancer,
(2 stricture (scar and narrowing) of the urethra ,
(3)stones,
(4)bladder cancer,
(5)impacted feces pressing on the bladder,
(6)side effect of medication,
(7)related to the spinal cord
(8)trauma to bladder or urethra

Retention of urine can lead to urinary tract infections, acute kidney failure and can also result in abnormal electrolytes in the blood.

Treatment can only be done in a hospital or doctor office setting. He needs catherisation.
This means a catheter would need to be placed. It will not be permanent but will be needed to empty the bladder.

Would also needs tests (blood tests and imaging) to find out the cause of the retention.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask other questions




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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