Urinary retention occurs when the bladder fails to empty completely. It can be an acute condition, which is a medical emergency, or it can be chronic. Some cases of urinary retention are caused by obstructions in the urinary tract, often due to an enlarged prostate in men or a sagging or mobile bladder in women.
Acute urinary retention is a medical emergency. One feels the need to urinate but cannot despite bloating in the lower part of the belly. The pain can be severe and may make walking difficult. If left untreated, acute urinary retention can damage the bladder, or in worst case scenarios, the bladder may rupture and need surgery.
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