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Acute Urinary Retention in Men: One of Many Signs of a Problem with the Prostate

Acute urinary retention is a very serious and potentially life-threatening condition where urination can't happen. 

Suddenly you can't go no matter how hard you try. Not a drop of urine escapes. And then the pain builds and builds. 

Your bladder keeps filling drop by drop from your kidneys, increasing the urge to go and adding even more pressure. 

Most often these are signs of problem with your prostate. In some cases, it can mean you have a severe bladder infection. But if it comes on suddenly, then most likely you are having what I call a 'prostate attack'. 

Something you ate, or some medication or anti-histamine you took, triggered an allergic-like reaction in your prostate. You may have already been experiencing some prostate problems or symptoms

Whatever you consumed caused your prostate to swell even more, shutting your urethra down. In some cases, sitting for a very long period of time and holding it in can cause additional trauma to your prostate and trigger the reaction. 

Later, I will show you how to test to determine what the culprit was so you can avoid it in the future. Prevention will be very useful to avoid this condition again. 

But two things are important here: 

  1. you must find out about the condition of your bladder and prostate; 
  2. and if it is your prostate, then most likely it is an enlarged prostate symptom or what is known as BPH, for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

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What to do about acute urinary retention...

If you are reading this and experiencing this awful feeling and can't go, then you must get to an emergency room so they can insert a catheter and release the urine. 

It sounds worse than it is. An experienced doctor or nurse will know how to insert the catheter competently and the release will be immediate. The male catheter allows the bladder to empty through the tube. 

Most likely, they will want to test you for a bladder condition to rule that out. Next, they will try to determine the condition of your prostate. They'll probably want to keep the catheter in place for a few days while they have a urologist figure out what happened. 

If it is an enlarged prostate, they will no doubt want to schedule surgery as soon as they can. Now you have to decide if that is the course of action to take. 

Do not rush this decision unless they claim you are still in an emergency situation. In my experience, once the urine escapes, I was fine. I always removed the catheter after emptying and was able to go afterwards. The extra swollen prostate slowly subsides and you'll be OK. You will still have other enlarged prostate symptoms like frequency and hesitancy. 

But the crisis has passed. I always used that stage to find the culprit and avoid it in the future. 

Acute urinary retention is a wake up call for you to make changes to eliminate the causes or to follow your urologist's advice.

Chronic Urinary Retention is a condition of difficulty urinating... slow to start, weak stream, difficulty emptying your bladder, very frequent urination, dribbling after, and occasional acute urinary retention... all very likely signs of prostate problems in men.

You can read more here.

Two Serious Side Effects 

It would be great if the recommended medical prostate treatments did not have any after-effects. But they do and they can affect your life greatly. For example: 

  1. male urinary incontinence 
  2. sexual dysfunction and impotence 

Male urinary incontinence means that you cannot fully control your bladder and you leak, requiring the wearing of an external catheter or the use of adult diapers. 

Sexual dysfunction and impotence result from damage to the nerve fibers that affect erections. Study the 10 functions of the prostate to understand how crucial the prostate is to the vitality and health of a man. 

In some cases retrograde ejaculation results. 

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen is redirected to the urinary bladder. Normally it would be ejaculated out the penis via the urethra. This happens because the prostate has been damaged from surgery. You basically have a dry orgasm. And, of course, you can no longer impregnate a woman. 

Acute urinary retention is the beginning of a journey of change for you. One path will take you down the road of medical intervention (once the acute crisis has passed); the other path, to learning all about your prostate and the causes of how you got here and what to do about it.

Here is a quote from my book Healthy Prostate about acute urinary retention:

 "Some men will not know they have an enlarged prostate because they are unaware of these symptoms. Then it comes as a surprise when they have an examination by a doctor. 

Some men will not experience any enlarged prostate symptoms at all... until they suddenly find it hard or impossible to go pee. This condition, called acute urinary retention, can be triggered by taking over-the-counter medicines for colds and allergies, excessive drinking, cold temperatures, or prolonged periods of sitting." 

I always recommend to men to have a male catheter in your emergency first aid kit, especially if you are traveling in remote places where hospital access is difficult. 

Complete blockage can happen to men as young as their mid-30's and up. If you are in the back country or far from help, this can be a lifesaver. 

I tell you exactly how to insert a catheter safely and easily in my book as well as what type to buy for the best ease of use. I describe a simple insertion technique that is crucial for acute urinary retention which really squeezes your pee tube tight and can make proper catheter insertion technique crucial. 

Self-catheterization really can be done to deal with a prostate attack. It is far easier than going to the emergency ward and waiting and waiting, while your pain only gets worse.

Male Catheter Insertion

While it may sound scary, I will teach you how to safely and easily insert a male catheter. You can learn all about the different types of catheters and what is the best type to use at these links. 

Types of Catheters 

Catheter Insertion 

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What Other Visitors Have Asked or Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

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Hi Ron, Unbeknownst to me, I was harboring a bladder stone found in an ultrasound, and was told it was most likely related to bladder voiding issues. …

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Why can the prostrate not be removed that has had radiation 10 years ago for cancer? ----------------- Ron here... That's a medical question that …

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Are there any catheters with organic lubricant that won't cause UTIs? ------------------- Ron here, Unless you have an allergy to the lubricants, …

Acute Urinary Retention 
From the moment I clicked on this page, started finding what would describe as my symptoms, problems. I had to go to an emergency room for not being able …

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I had thyroid surgery that lasted 4-5 hrs. Which required an over night stay in the hospital. Released even though I was not urinating enough to empty …

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I have been on a Foley catheter for 5 months due to retention that led to kidney stress. I am about to begin self catheterization With hopes that the supplements …

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Healthy Prostate:
The Extensive Guide To Prevent and Heal Prostate Problems Including Prostate Cancer, BPH Enlarged Prostate and Prostatitis

Written by Ronald M Bazar,

~BCom, McGill University
~MBA, Harvard University

~the author of this website.

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Note Dear Reader...

You must change your diet by stopping those foods that are triggering your condition and replacing them with new ones that nourish you and your prostate.

Then combined with a high quality supplement, you are putting yourself on the road to healing.

There are no shortcuts. Just good changes and little by little you will get better. My books and this site tells you how.

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