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Incontinence associated with chronic retention

Incontinence associated with chronic retention is when the bladder is unable to empty properly and frequent leakage of small amounts of urine occurs as a result.  

Signs that your bladder is not completely emptying include:

  • feeling that you need to strain to pass urine
  • a weak or slow urine stream
  • feeling as if your bladder is not empty just after going to the toilet
  • little or no warning when you need to pass urine
  • passing urine while asleep
  • frequent urinary tract infections or cystitis, and
  • 'dribbling' more urine after visiting the toilet.

What causes incontinence associated with chronic retention? 

There are several possible causes for this type of incontinence. These include:

  • a urethra blockage caused by a full bladder (the full bladder can put pressure on the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine)
  • an enlarged prostate
  • a prolapse of pelvic organs which can block the urethra
  • damage to the nerves that control the bladder, urethral sphincter or pelvic floor muscles
  • diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke or Parkinson's disease (these conditions can interfere with the sensation of a full bladder and with bladder emptying), and
  • some medications (which can interfere with bladder function) including over the counter medications and herbal products.