Urinary Retention

Urinary retention occurs when someone cannot empty their bladder completely. Instead of all the urine being passed out through the urethra, some remains in the bladder. Urinary retention can be a short-term or long-term problem and can occur suddenly (acute) or get worse over a period of time (chronic).

Retaining urine in the bladder can lead to urinary incontinence (leaking urine in between wees) and urinary tract infections. In severe cases, urine can start to ‘back up’ the ureters to the kidneys, causing long-term damage.

Two main types of urinary retention:

Chronic bladder retention is an ongoing condition that develops over time. You may be able to urinate but have trouble starting a stream or emptying your bladder. You may feel the need to urinate frequently, or feel an urgent need to urinate even when you can't or after you've finished.

Acute bladder retention is a sudden inability to urinate. It can cause severe discomfort and is considered a medical emergency.

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Symptoms, Precautions & Treatments

मूत्रकृछ्छ्रे कृच्छ्रत्वमतिशायितम् ईषद्विबंधः,

मूत्राघाते तु विबंधो बलवान् कृच्छ्रत्वमल्पमिति॥(मधुकोश)

In Ayurveda there are two words , Mutrakruchra and Mutraghata ,

  • In case of mutrakruchra – There will be increased Dysuria
  • In case of mutraghata – Obstruction will be more than symptoms of dysuria .
  • Discomfort
  • Difficulty starting a urine stream
  • Weak flow of urine
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Feel the need to urinate after voiding
  • Small amount of leakage

Blockage in the urinary tract.Bladder stones. A stone formed anywhere in the urinary tract may become lodged in the bladder. Large stones may completely block the opening to the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the body.

Nerve problems or spinal cord injury. Nerve damage can interfere with the transmission of signals between the brain and the bladder that are required for voiding.

Medications. Medications that calm overactive nerves may inhibit the bladder’s nerve cells and interfere with urine flow. These can include antihistamines used to treat allergies, antispasmodics used to treat stomach cramps and muscle spasms, and antidepressants.

Surgery. Anesthesia dulls nerve receptors, causing some patients to experience temporary urinary retention.

Infections. Infections of the urethra or bladder, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), can cause swelling or inflammation that compress the urethra and block urine flow.

Constipation. A hard stool in the rectum can push against the bladder and urethra, causing the urethra to be pinched shut.

Cystocele. A condition in which the wall between a woman’s bladder and her vagina weakens and allows the bladder to droop into the vagina, enabling urine to remain trapped in the bladder.

Causes relating to bladder :

Ashmari : Stone –calculus, Arbuda :Tumours, Blood clot, Basti mukha sankucha : Contracture of bladder neck , Mutramarga sankucha :Urethral stricture , Mutramarga teevra shootha, Acute urethritis, Ashmari :Stone impaction in urethra, Aghata : Traumatic abscess , Diseases of spinal cord like disseminated sclerosis, tabesdorsalis , Potts Diseases, Merudanda bagna- Fracture of spinal cord, Post operative stricture , Yosha apasmara -Hysteria , Dhanurvata :Tetanus , Garbhashaya greeva arbuda- Tumour of cervix, Garbhashaya arbuda , Fibroid uterus.

  • Prakriti analysis of the patient
  • Nidana parivarjana : Avoiding the causes is the main treatment protocol

Snehana : Intake of medicated ghee /oil according to the condition of disease.

Abhyanga – means performing massage , massage of lower abdomen with herbal oils like tila taila (sesame seed oil ), Eranda Taila , Ksheerabala Taila etc .

Svedana- (Fomentation / Sudation )It is type of treatment where sweating is induced , usually done after abhyanga or snehana .

Upanaha – Upanaha means herbal poultices using dry powders


Vasti – In case of Vasti , Uttara vasti is considered to be best , that is medicated enemas given through urethral or vaginal route.

Shalya Karma : Surgical interventions also is required in these cases , Catheterization etc required protocol is explained under this

Conservative line of management is followed , if patient is not fit for panchakarma , using , shuddha Shilajatu , shweta parpati , punarnavadi choorna etc can be prescribed.

Puratana shaali – Old harvested red rice

Mudga rasa-soup prepared from green gram

Sita – Sugar

Takra –Butter milk

Paya – Milk

Dadhi – Curd

Purana kushmanda phala – Ash gourd

Patola –pointed Gourd

Karjura- Dates

Narikela – tender coconuts

Aamalaki – Emblica officinalis

Ghrutha – Ghee

Prateera teeram – Water of river banks

Madhyapana – Avoid alcohol

Parishramam- Excessive exertion

Maithunam – Excessive sexual intercourse

Viruddha bhojana – Incompatible foods

Vishamasana- uncomfortable seating

Matsya – Fish

Lavana – Excessive intake of salt

Taila Bhrustam – Foods which are fried

Pinyakam – Dishes prepared out of seasame seeds .

Hing – Asafoetida

Tila – sesame

Sarshapa – Mustard

Mutravega – One should not hold the urge for micturation

Maasha – Foods prepared out of black gram

Tikshna –Vidahi – Ruksha Aamla – Foods which are intense and irritating in nature .

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