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Why does my bladder always remain full?

Answered by: Dr. Rajesh Ahlawat
Director, Urology and Renal Transplantation
Fortis Hospitals
New Delhi

Q. I have a constant urge to urinate for a week now. My bladder always feels full. Even after passing urine, I feel full within 5-10 minutes. I have not increased my fluid intake, and have never had this before. I avoid going out, as I need to urinate frequently. This is not an issue at night, when I sleep. Please advise.

A.  Increased urinary frequency would occur with increased urine output or a decreased bladder capacity. The former would happen with increased fluid intake or use of diuretics, while latter may result temporarily with bladder irritation with infections or stones, or permanently due to contraction of bladder with certain conditions like interstitial cystitis or genitourinary tuberculosis. As you are sure that you have no problem during night, things are simpler. All these conditions would bother you both during the day and night, except resulting from fluid intake and use of diuretics. Anxiety is another situation, which would give you frequency only during the waking hours. A look at the medications being used, and a voiding diary stating the time of each void, along with the volumes voided would be the first things to look at, along with routine urine examination and an ultrasound examination of the urinary tract. These would be able to differentiate most of the causes of urinary frequency.

A.  Increased urinary frequency would occur with increased urine output or a decreased bladder capacity. The former would happen with increased fluid intake or use of diuretics, while latter may result temporarily with bladder irritation with infections or stones, or permanently due to contraction of bladder with certain conditions like interstitial cystitis or genitourinary tuberculosis. As you are sure that you have no problem during night, things are simpler. All these conditions would bother you both during the day and night, except resulting from fluid intake and use of diuretics. Anxiety is another situation, which would give you frequency only during the waking hours. A look at the medications being used, and a voiding diary stating the time of each void, along with the volumes voided would be the first things to look at, along with routine urine examination and an ultrasound examination of the urinary tract. These would be able to differentiate most of the causes of urinary frequency.

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