A urologist with a private hospital in the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Celsus Undie, has advised men who are 50 years and above to ensure that they pass urine whenever they feel the urge.
Undie said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday that the advice became necessary to prevent acute urinary retention among such men.
Acute urinary retention is a condition whereby urine suddenly stops flowing even when the bladder is full and is expected to be evacuated. “It is a very wise thing for any man who is more than 50 years old to go and pass urine when he feels like, when he has the sensation. ‘So they need to pass urine when they feel like passing urine. Before they go for a long meeting, they should go and empty their bladder.
“If they don’t have that habit one day they will go into acute urine retention. “Acute urinary retention is a situation where the urine suddenly stops coming even when the bladder is full. And the person will be in severe pain like a pregnant woman in labour.
“And if it happens where you are in a very difficult situation, you are in a train or in a flight or a situation on the road where there is no hospital nearby you will be in real trouble,” he said.
Undie explained that chronic urinary retention could be caused by injury to the nerves that control the functioning of the bladder.
“In that case the bladder will be full and the person is not aware and gradually the fullness will extend to the uterus, the two small tubes that drain urine from the kidney to the bladder.
“So, a differential pressure that allows urine to filter from the blood through the kidney into the urinary tract is no more there and so a lot of urine flows back into the blood through the kidneys, so it would be like the person is in kidney failure “So whether the kidney is not functioning well or whether the kidney actually functions filters these chemicals to the urinary tract and they cannot come out of the body, the effect is the same,” Undie said.
He identified other causes of urinary retention as spinal cord injury and diabetes.
Undie said that if there was a deliberately prolonged delay in passing urine, the bladder sensation could be affected, a situation which could lead to the person losing the feeling that the bladder needed to be emptied.
“The bladder gets distended and so flabby that litres of urine can accumulate and flow back into the blood system.
“So, the individual is being intoxicated by the waste products that are usually filtered in the urine, which amounts to kidney failure,” he said.
The urologist said the commonest cause of urinary retention was the enlargement of the prostrate of a man, adding that if such was dioagnosed, the prostrate would have to be removed.
“Men that are more than 55, 60 tend to have enlarged prostrate.
“More than half of the men you see on the street who are in this age bracket, or who are older, their prostrate glands are enlarged.
“There is a tendency for the prostatic tissue, the prostrate area to become swollen when there is a lot of pressure on the bladder neck,” he said. Undie said that urinary retention was more common in men than women because of the prostrate gland, which women do not have.
According to him, it is 50 times more common in men than in women.