Difficulty urinating

I am 13 weeks pregnant with my second child and sometimes I can not urinate at all, even if my bladder is full. I had the same problem a couple of times in my first pregnancy. What should I do?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Inability to pass urine easily can be due to an infectious process or a mechanical process. A urinary tract infection can cause this and should be ruled out right away.

But more commonly, it could be a mechanical obstruction due to fibroids on the uterus or due to the position of the uterus. As the uterus enlarges, especially if it is retroverted (tipped toward your back), it may actually compress the urethra. Beyond the first trimester -- as the uterus becomes more supported on the pelvis -- this often resolves. If not, a pessary (a rubber donut-shaped device) may be used to help elevate the uterus.

In either event, this should be investigated because, although it is rare, this can be caused by obstruction of the urethra due to tumors, polyps or warts. And if it is due to the retroversion of the uterus, this can lead to urinary infection if left untreated.

Until you get in to see someone, urination can be eased by pushing up on your uterus or urinating in the tub while lying on your abdomen.

I hope you are able to get help soon and I wish you a speedy resolution.

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