Usually, the cause of the urinary retention will be treated separately. For example, if the blockage is caused by an enlarged prostate, surgery may be required to remove or alleviate the obstruction. To manage the retention itself, the most common treatment is medication, such as the drug Flowmax®.
If the retention is acute or if it persists, a urologist may recommend a catheter.
- Foley catheter: The catheter is placed in the bladder, through the urethra, to drain the urine. It will relieve a distressed bladder and prevent further damage.
- Intermittent catheter: If the urinary retention appears chronic, the patient may be taught to self-catheterize using sterile techniques to avoid urinary tract infections.
- Suprapubic tube: A catheter is placed below the belly button, directly into the bladder through the skin, and can be kept in for short-term or long-term with monthly catheter checks. This can be a good option for patients who may experience difficulty using a catheter through the urethra.