Urinary retention is the incomplete emptying of the bladder. It may be due to outflow obstruction or to weakness of the detrusor muscle. Neurologic dysfunction related to spinal cord injury, neurologic diseases and diabetes mellitus with resultant neuropathy are common causes of inadequate bladder emptying.
Diagnosis with urodynamic tests provides objective evidence to support a patient's subjective impression that the bladder is not completely emptied.
Treatment relates to the cause of the inability to empty the bladder and includes pelvic floor rehabilitation, medications, the use of self-catheterization, and possible surgery.