When the bladder does not empty properly, the condition is referred to as urinary retention, explains the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Acute urinary retention symptoms, which require medical attention, are bloating and pain of the lower abdomen; inability to urinate; or a painful urgent need to urinate.
Chronic urinary retention symptoms include urinating eight or more times each day, a weak or interrupted urine stream and a feeling of needing to urinate after urinating, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Other symptoms include a mild feeling of discomfort in the lower abdomen and difficulty beginning to urinate. Urinary retention is diagnosed by a physician. A CT scan, cystoscopy, electromyography or urodynamic tests are used to diagnose and find the cause for difficulty emptying the bladder.
Some causes of urinary retention are urinary tract stones, urinary tract infections and cysts, states the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Tumors and injury can also cause difficulty urinating. Treatment for urinary retention varies, dependent on the cause of the condition. Bladder drainage, urethral dilation or stents may be used, or in some cases surgery is necessary. Men with this condition may be prescribed prostrate medication.