Complications of prostate enlargement  

Urinary tract infections

If you are unable to empty your bladder properly, there is a risk that bacteria in your urinary system will not get flushed out and instead will spread through the urine to cause a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • cloudy, bloody or bad-smelling urine

  • pain in your lower abdomen

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • shaking and chills

  • a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or more 

UTIs can be treated with antibiotics. While a single UTI is not usually serious, repeated UTIs can damage your kidney and bladder. If you have a history of repeated UTIs, you may need to have surgery.
Acute urinary retention (AUR)
Acute urinary retention (AUR) is the sudden inability to pass any urine. AUR should be treated as a medical emergency because, without prompt treatment, urine may be passed back up into the kidneys, which can damage them.
Symptoms of AUR include:

  • the sudden inability to pass urine

  • severe pain in the lower tummy

  • swelling of the bladder that you can feel with your hands

If you or someone you know experiences the symptoms of AUR, call 999 and ask for an ambulance. AUR can be treated using a thin tube (catheter) to drain the urine out of your bladder. In very serious cases, surgery may be required to empty the bladder.

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Last updated:

8th November 2011

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