Why Doesn’t My Bladder Empty Completely?

The inability to empty the bladder is a sign of urinary retention, which is a condition that prevents the bladder from emptying fully, according to MedicineNet. There are acute and chronic cases, and acute cases are more serious.

The causes of urinary retention include constipation, bladder stones, a weakened bladder muscle, certain medications or a urethral stricture, notes MedicineNet. Elderly men who are 50 or over are susceptible to the condition due to an enlarged prostate. Women can suffer from the same problem if they have a sagging bladder.

Different infections can result in urinary retention, states Healthgrades. Sexually transmitted diseases and vaginal infections can cause the problem. Infections of the prostate, bladder or urethra can lead to bladder complications. Neurological problems, such as a brain or spinal injury, are other likely causes.

An acute case is apparent when the lower part of the belly is bloated, reports MedicineNet. Chronic cases come with mild discomfort and weak urine flow. Frequent urination is another sign, and the bladder may feel partially full after expelling urine.

Chronic urine retention results in nocturia, which occurs when a person needs to urinate multiple times in a single night, explains Healthgrades. Urinary retention begins on a mild basis, but the condition gets worse over time.