Persistent postpartum urinary retention in contemporary obstetric practice: Definition, prevalence and clinical implications

A. Groutz, D. Gordon, I. Wolman, A. Jaffa, M. J. Kupferminc, J. B. Lessing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To prospectively evaluate the prevalence, presumed etiologies and clinical implications of persistent postpartum urinary retention in modern obstetric practice. STUDY DESIGN: The study population comprised 8,402 consecutive, unselected parturients delivered in a university-affiliated maternity hospital over a one-year period. If a woman was unable to void spontaneously until the third postpartum day despite intermittent use of a Foley catheter, a diagnosis of persistent postpartum urinary retention was established. Patients were treated by insertion of a Foley catheter for up to two weeks and subsequently by a suprapubic catheter. Obstetric data were collected from the hospital records. RESULTS: Four patients (0.05% of the study population), aged 29-37 years, developed persistent postpartum urinary retention. Risk factors included vaginal delivery after cesarean section, prolonged second stage of labor, epidural analgesia, and delayed diagnosis and intervention. Urodynamic evaluation, performed on two patients one month after removal of the suprapubic catheter, revealed genuine stress incontinence in one and detrusor instability in another. None had had any lower urinary tract symptoms before pregnancy and delivery. CONCLUSION: Persistent postpartum urinary retention in contemporary obstetric practice is rare but may be associated with long-term bladder dysfunction. Early diagnosis and intervention are required to prevent irreversible bladder damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of reproductive medicine
Volume46
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Bladder
  • Postpartum period
  • Urinary retention

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