Incomplete Bladder Emptying

Some women feel they are not fulling emptying their bladder when they urinate. This can be because they feel the need to urinate a few minutes later, or because the urine comes out slowly or takes a long time. Normally, the bladder should have less than 50 milliliters of urine leftover after you have gone to the bathroom. How well you empty can vary based on how relaxed you are, if you are sitting or squatting, or if you have been holding it for a long period of time.

While some women may have overactive bladder, others may not empty the bladder well because of poor bladder contractility, or hypertonic pelvic floor muscles. In some instances there can be a narrowing in the urethra, or at the opening of the urethra, and this creates a blockage of the urine flow. Urologic and other surgical procedures may also lead to problems emptying the bladder afterward.

Dr. Kumar can check via a catheterization or ultrasound to see how well you empty. Other tests, such as cystoscopy and urodynamics are also very helpful in determining the cause of your symptoms and the best treatment options for you.

It is important to get a thorough history, and to check a test called a postvoid residual. This is where we check how much urine is left in your bladder immediately after you urinate.
If you consistently are retaining large volumes of urine, Dr. Kumar will discuss options with you, including medication, intermittent catheterization, urethral dilation, and sacral neuromodulation.