The Surprising Link Between Water and Urinary Retention: What You Need to Know


Does Drinking Water Help Urinary Retention?

Does Drinking Water Help Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is a condition where a person has difficulty emptying their bladder completely. This can be a temporary or chronic problem and can affect people of all ages. The discomfort and inconvenience of urinary retention can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

What is Urinary Retention?

To better understand how drinking water can help with urinary retention, it is important to first understand what this condition is. Urinary retention occurs when the bladder does not empty completely, causing the person to feel an urgent need to urinate frequently, but only passing a small amount of urine each time.

There are two types of urinary retention: acute and chronic. Acute urinary retention occurs suddenly and can be a medical emergency, as the bladder may become overly full and unable to empty at all. Chronic urinary retention develops gradually and can be caused by a variety of factors such as bladder muscle weakness, nerve damage, or obstructions in the urinary tract.

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining good overall health, and it is especially important for people with urinary retention. When the body is dehydrated, the urine becomes more concentrated, making it more irritating to the bladder. This can lead to urgency, frequency, and discomfort.

On the other hand, drinking enough water throughout the day can help dilute urine and reduce the irritation to the bladder. This can help alleviate symptoms of urinary retention such as frequent urination and discomfort.

The Benefits of Drinking Water for Urinary Retention

In addition to reducing bladder irritation, there are several other benefits of drinking water for people with urinary retention:

1. Promotes bladder strength: Adequate water intake can help strengthen the bladder muscles, making it easier for them to contract and expel urine.

2. Reduces the risk of infections: Chronic urinary retention can increase the risk of urinary tract infections. Drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria and prevent urinary tract infections.

3. Helps manage constipation: Constipation can contribute to urinary retention as the fullness of the bowels can put pressure on the bladder. Drinking enough water can help soften stools and promote regular bowel movements, reducing the pressure on the bladder.

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

The amount of water a person needs to drink varies depending on factors such as age, weight, activity level, and climate. However, a general guideline is to aim for at least 8 glasses of water (8 ounces each) per day.

For people with urinary retention, it is recommended to spread the water intake throughout the day to avoid putting too much stress on the bladder. It is also important to note that other beverages, such as caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, can have a diuretic effect and may exacerbate urinary retention symptoms. Therefore, it is best to limit these types of drinks and prioritize water intake.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you are experiencing urinary retention, it is essential to consult a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive proper treatment. While drinking water can help alleviate symptoms, it is not a cure for urinary retention.

Avoid self-treating with excessive water intake as this can lead to a condition called overactive bladder, making it more challenging to control urination. In some cases, a doctor may recommend medications or other treatment methods to manage urinary retention.

The Bottom Line

Staying hydrated by drinking enough water is crucial for overall health and can provide relief for those with urinary retention. However, it is important to remember that drinking water does not fix the underlying cause of urinary retention. Consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or treatment plan.

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