Distended Bladder

Distended Bladder - also regarded as urinary retention, where the patient is not able to empty the bladder completely or at all while urinating. In some people, distended bladder and urinary retention occurs suddenly and in some, gradually. Distended bladder symptoms are painful and in some cases can be life-threatening.

Distended Bladder Causes

In older men, the most common cause of distended bladder is the condition of an enlarged prostate. The enlarged prostate blocks the urethra and the blocked urethra causes incomplete draining of urine. Prostate cancer and prostate infection (prostatitis) can be the other causes due to creation of inflammation which also results in blocked urinary tract.

Distended bladder and incomplete urination can be caused by problems of the nervous system (passage of information between the bladder and the brain in order to control the muscles used in urination) such as

  • Spinal cord compression or injury
  • Spinal cord tumor
  • Strokes
  • Blood clot putting pressure on the spinal cord
  • Inflammation and swelling due to infection
  • Drugs used to tighten the urinary channel or certain antihistamines

Distended Bladder Symptoms

The most obvious symptoms of distended bladder is the the visibly protruding distended bladder. Other symptoms include:

Distended Bladder Treatment

There are some home remedies for distended bladder:

  • Warm baths to stimulate urination
  • Walking more to increase physical activity, which helps urination
If these do not help relieve your distended bladder symptoms, you may want to seek medial or invasive distended bladder treatments like inserting a foley catheter (small flexible tube) through the urethra into the bladder that encourages drainage of urine.

Bladder and Urinary Tract

The bladder is a hollow muscular organ and its main function is to store urine until it is urinated. The bladder changes in shape and size depending on how much urine is inside it at any given moment. Even if it is not swollen, holding urine can make the bladder grow inside even if it does not visibly protrude to the outside of the body.

The bladder's location in the body is right above the pelvic floor and the hip joint. When the bladder is full of urine, or in case of inflammation, the bladder becomes distended and expands into the lower abdomen. In severe cases of holding urine or inflammation, the distended bladder protrudes through the skin of the lower stomach and is visibly evident.

Prolonged holding of urine can cause stretching of the bladder muscle. Various types of Urinary Tract Infections can also cause the bladder to swell up or become distended. In order to properly diagnose infection or any other internal cause of a bladder problems, a number of different urine tests called Urinalysis are available at home or in a doctors office.


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