Hydration and Urinary Health: Debunking the Myths Around Drinking Water


Does Drinking Water Help with Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is a common condition that affects both men and women, where one experiences difficulties in emptying their bladder completely. This uncomfortable and often painful condition can lead to several related complications if left untreated. While there are various treatment options available, drinking water is often recommended as a natural and effective way to manage urinary retention. But does drinking water really help with urinary retention? Let’s find out.

Understanding Urinary Retention

Before delving into the benefits of drinking water for urinary retention, it is important to understand what causes this condition. Acute urinary retention is usually caused by a blockage in the urinary tract, while chronic urinary retention is often a result of nerve or muscle damage. This damage can be due to various factors such as aging, childbirth, enlarged prostate, or certain medical conditions like diabetes or multiple sclerosis.

Common symptoms of urinary retention include difficulty in starting urination, weak or interrupted urine flow, feeling the need to urinate frequently or urgently, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. If you experience these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and get proper treatment.

The Importance of Hydration

Now that we understand the causes and symptoms of urinary retention, let’s explore how drinking water can help. The human body is made up of mostly water, and keeping hydrated is crucial for proper functioning. In fact, dehydration is one of the leading causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are often a risk factor for urinary retention. By drinking enough water, you can help flush out bacteria and other toxins from your urinary tract, preventing UTIs and other infections.

Moreover, dehydration can also lead to constipation, another factor that can contribute to urinary retention. Ensuring that you are well-hydrated can help soften stool and make it easier to pass, thus reducing the strain and pressure on the bladder and urinary tract. This can ultimately alleviate the symptoms of urinary retention.

The Role of Water in Bladder Health

Another way in which drinking water can help with urinary retention is by promoting bladder health. The bladder is a muscular organ that expands to store urine and contracts to release it. Adequate hydration can help keep the bladder wall elastic and strong, ensuring that it can function properly. On the other hand, if the bladder is not well-hydrated, the walls can become weak and stiff, leading to problems with bladder control and emptying.

Furthermore, drinking water can also help with urinary retention caused by an enlarged prostate. By staying hydrated, you can increase the volume of urine flow, which can help bypass the prostate and empty the bladder more efficiently. This can provide some relief from the symptoms of urinary retention.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

While it is essential to keep yourself hydrated, there is no set prescription for the amount of water one should drink to help with urinary retention. The recommended daily intake of water varies depending on a person’s age, weight, activity level, and overall health. Generally, it is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. However, if you have a medical condition or take medications that affect your bladder, it is best to consult with your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of water for you.

Other Tips to Help with Urinary Retention

In addition to drinking plenty of water, here are a few other tips that can help manage urinary retention:

  • Practice pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles that control urinary flow
  • Manage your fluid intake and avoid consuming too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Empty your bladder regularly, even if you don’t feel the urge to urinate
  • Use the bathroom before and after sexual activity
  • Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga to reduce stress and improve bladder control


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you experience symptoms of urinary retention, please consult with a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Bottom Line

While there is no definitive answer to whether drinking water can help with urinary retention, staying hydrated is essential for overall bladder health. It can prevent urinary tract infections, promote proper bladder function, and potentially alleviate symptoms of urinary retention. Along with medical treatment, practicing good hydration habits can help manage this condition and improve your quality of life.

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