Postpartum urinary retention: assessment of contributing factors and long-term clinical impact


  • Liang Ching-Chung MD, Chang Shuenn-Dhy MD, Tseng Ling-Hong MD, Hsieh Ching-Chang MD, Chung Chao-Lun MD, Cheng Po-Jen MD

Address for correspondence
Ching-Chung Liang
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou Medical Center
5 Fu-Hsing Street, Kwei-Shan Tao-Yuan
Taiwan 10591 ROC




To investigate the relationships between various obstetric parameters and postpartum urinary retention, and to offer some clinical guidance for resolution of urinary retention problems.


An observational prospective study


A private teaching hospital medical centre.


A total of 2,866 vaginally delivered women were recruited with 114 women classified as urinary retention group and the remaining 2752 women categorised as control group.

Main outcome measures and results

Women in the urinary retention and control groups did not differ significantly in terms of age, fetal head circumference and fetal birth weight. Women suffering from postpartum urinary retention demonstrated significantly longer labour duration, more nulliparity and epidural analgesia and higher percentages of instrument-assisted delivery and vaginal or perineal damage.


Nulliparity, longer labour course, instrumental delivery, extensive vaginal and perineal laceration and use of epidural analgesia were contributing obstetric factors to postpartum urinary retention. Long-term follow-up showed that the problems of all but three of the 114 women, who complained of persistent minor urinary symptoms, were eventually resolved.