Postpartum urinary retention is a relatively common condition that can have a significant impact on women in the immediate days following childbirth. If left untreated, postpartum urinary retention can lead to repetitive overdistention injury that may damage the detrusor muscle and the parasympathetic nerve fibers within the bladder wall. In rare circumstances, postpartum urinary retention may even lead to bladder rupture, which is a potentially life-threatening yet entirely preventable complication. Early diagnosis and timely intervention are necessary to decrease long-term consequences. There are three types of postpartum urinary retention: overt, covert, and persistent. Overt retention is associated with an inability to void, while covert is associated with incomplete bladder emptying. Persistent urinary retention continues beyond the third postpartum day and can persist for several weeks in rare cases. Recognition of risk factors and prompt diagnosis is important for proper management and prevention of negative sequelae. However, lack of knowledge from providers and patients alike creates barriers to accessing and receiving evidence-based care and may further delay diagnosis for patients, especially those who experience covert postpartum urinary retention. Nationally accepted definitions and management algorithms for postpartum urinary retention are lacking, and development of such guidelines is essential for both patient care and research design. We propose intrapartum recommendations and a standardized postpartum bladder management protocol that will improve patient outcomes and contribute to the growing body of evidence-based practice in this field.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 2022 Aug 03 [Epub ahead of print]
Alexandra C Nutaitis, Nicole A Meckes, Annetta M Madsen, Coralee T Toal, Kimia Menhaji, Charelle M Carter-Brooks, Katie A Propst, Lisa C Hickman
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, Akron, OH., Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Magee-Womens Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Urogynecology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN., Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, West Coast Ob/Gyn, INC, San Diego, CA; Division of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C, USA., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH. Electronic address: .