Bladder distention is an uncomfortable condition that can be caused by a variety of situations and diseases. Treatments do exist that make dealing with bladder distention possible. Sometimes the bladder is purposely distended as treatment in and of itself.
Bladder distention is a condition that causes the bladder to enlarge past its normal size. The bladder itself can become so large that it blocks off the urethra, rendering you unable to urinate. This can lead to a buildup of urine in the bladder and even leakage of urine into the abdominal cavity, which is very serious and can cause toxicity or death.
Bladder distention has a variety of causes. A condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, in which the prostate slowly enlarges over time, can cause the bladder to distend. Multiple sclerosis can block neuron control of the bladder, causing distention. Bladder cancer also can cause distention when a tumor blocks the flow of urine. Prostate cancer as well as prostatitis can cause distention as well as other urinary symptoms, such as frequency and urgency. Certain medications you take can have an effect on bladder function as well, as can catheterization.
Bladder distention often comes on suddenly and is difficult to spot until symptoms become severe. The most obvious symptom is the feeling of a very full bladder. However, you won't be able to urinate or completely empty the bladder. If not treated immediately, distention can cause the bladder to swell into the abdominal cavity and cause impaired kidney function as well as blood vessel constriction. The bladder also has been known to rupture.
Bladder distention is treated by placing a catheter into the bladder to help draw out urine. This is done slowly, however, to give the bladder and surrounding blood vessels time to adjust. Other treatments involve shifting positions to find comfort, analgesics and even surgery if an obstruction is to blame for the distention.
Bladder Distention as Treatment
Even though bladder distention is a condition that can occur as a result of disease or some other factor, it also is used by doctors as a treatment. The bladder is sometimes filled with liquid in an attempt to diagnose a condition called interstitial cystitis, which characterizes itself by painful urination, although no infection is present. Bladder distention sometimes can cure this condition, although the reasons for this are not known.