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Long and boring q for Mears re:urinary retention after childbirth

(18 Posts)
mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 16:34:25

Hello Mears sorry to trouble you, but this has been on my mind on and off for a while.

After I had DS late at night I was in agony all that night with urinary retention, and got 20 minutes sleep!. I was told just to try showering/take some paracetamol by the overnight midwife. It wasn't until there was a change of shift that I was catheterised, and an indwelling catheter put in for 36 hours (output when I was catheterised was 1000 mls, so exactly on the borderline for an indwelling one). I was told that I was going to be referred to Urodynamics, but nothing ever happened in terms of me seeing anyone extra. I don't have any problems with stress incontinence fortunately.

so my questions are:
1)out of nosiness, how common is this sort of experience?
2)did I miss out on anything but not seeing a Urodynamics doc/nurse, or does referring to Urodynamics just mean the mw staff chat to a doc down there about you, rather than any physical exam?
3)does the period of urinary retention make it any likelier that I will be subject to stress incontinence in later years?


mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 16:50:15


huskygirl Thu 07-Apr-05 17:24:00

sorry dont know any of the answers but i'll bump for you. bbbbbbbbbbbump

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 18:24:49


mears Thu 07-Apr-05 18:40:27

In answer to your question this is a much more common problem than people realise - even midwives and doctors. It has received a lot of attention in our unit over the last year really. Over distension can lead to real urinary problems which can take a long time to resolve. We have women who have gone home having been taught to self catheterise as needed with in-and-out catheters.

The fact that you are not experiencing problems now is good. It probably would have been good to have been reviewed at the time to ensure bladder function was now back to normal though. Over distension can lead to permanent bladder trauma if left untreated. Pelvic floor exercises are essential and the physiotherapist can assist with making sure they are done properly. I think if you have any problems at all with urinary leakage you should get a referral to a urologist ASAP. Hopefully, since you do not have a problem now, you will not be at greater risk. If you have another baby though, you must pay reall attention to make sure you are able to empty your bladder properly. The midwives should be made aware of previous problems to make sure you do not have retention again. HTH.

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 19:02:34

Thanks very much for the reply Mears. Seeing your reference to women being discharged with catheters does make me realise how lucky I was. Should I be looking for a referral to physio to check I am doing the PFEs correctly?

My HV suggested that the urinary retention could have been caused by diamorphine, but an anaesthetist acquaintance completely pooh poohed that. What do you reckon?

I am always wryly amused when people post that an advantage of vaginal delivery over C-Section is not having a catheter, as it doesn't always work that way for the unlucky few!

Philly Thu 07-Apr-05 19:12:57

This happened to me with booth ds1 and ds2.With ds2 (different hospitsl to ds1)the midwives kept telling me to relax or take a bath and do it in the bath,it took me about all day ,he was born early morning ,tom convince them that I wasn't nervous or sore but that my body would not respond to the signals,they finnally cathiterised me ,reluctantly andI was apparently very near to doing some serious damage.With ds3 I was worried it would happen again and i think I shocked the staff by being so excited when I did my first wee!

mears Thu 07-Apr-05 19:17:57

Opiates (of which Diamorphine is one) can cause urinary retention. Instrumental delivery is probably the chief cause and also epidurals. The opiate in the epidural affects the bladder.

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 19:20:08

thanks mears for the speedy response. I had a ventouse delivery, so guess that is the most likely culprit.

QueenEagle Thu 07-Apr-05 19:27:22

Really really sorry to jump on this thread, hope you don't mind MTS?

I have always had worries about my daughter (now 13) having problems when she is an adult and having babies.

She had kidney/bladder probs and for 2 years had an in-dwelling supra-pubic catheter which was removed about 2 years ago. She has a leaky bladder still which her Consultant says she will learn to live with. He is reluctant to do any more surgery - she has had so much already.

I have always asked about pregnancy and childbirth but no-one seems to be able to say how things might go for her as an adult. Anyone here able (or mind) to forsee any potential probs and how they would be best dealt with?

hunkermunker Thu 07-Apr-05 19:28:41

I'd never even heard of this. I found it difficult to go after I had DS - it took a while (can't remember how long exactly, he was born in the afternoon, probably late evening). When I finally did go, I thought I would never stop! I'd have made a Shire horse proud

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 19:28:43

no, not at all, ask away QE.

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 19:29:55

nosy q here, hunker, but did it feel really uncomfortable, like you wanted to go but just couldn't?

hunkermunker Thu 07-Apr-05 19:32:04

Yes! I had probs after having general anaesthetic a couple of times too - had a laparoscopy in the early morning, then drank copious amounts of water (day surgery - they wouldn't let me out till after I'd weed) - didn't actually go until 7pm just before they closed the ward - they were going to put me on a trolley in A&E as they had no beds and I was DESPERATE to leave hospital!

mears Thu 07-Apr-05 19:32:24

What a shame for her QueenEagle

Unfortunately I can't answer your question because it isn't something I have come across. The fact that she has had surgery for her problems mayindicate that she would be more likely to need a C/S for delivery. However, ofetn where there is previous scarring abdominally, natural delivery can be favoured. It will all depend on her individual circumstances when the time arises. Pregnancy puts a lot of strain on the bladder and would make leakage worse. I think that you really will not be able to be given a lot of advice because women are so different. Perhaps the consultant knows of women who have been in this situation that he could put you in touch with?

mummytosteven Thu 07-Apr-05 19:33:16

possibly the continence foundation website might have some useful info QE?

snailspace Fri 08-Apr-05 14:33:38

Message withdrawn

cally272 Fri 15-Apr-05 14:16:55

I had urinary retention during childbirth with dd2, caused me to have a retained placenta. They were wanting to take me to theatre to remove it, but I persevered with b/f , whilst they inserted a catheter tube to drain the urine(no bag was attached)and after an hour they managed to pull it out For about 5 weeks afterwards, I suffered from bleeding from the urine tract, but no-one seemed concerned about that. Fortunately it resolved itself

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