Postpartum urinary retention is an unexpected common complication. In previous studies about a 1.7 -17 percent incidence of urinary retention was reported. We defined urinary retention as absence of spontaneous micturition within six hours of vaginal delivery or within six hours of removal of catheter after cesarean delivery. Our hypothesis is that operative deliveries increase the incidence of urinary retention in the immediate postpartum period.
A retrospective chart review was conducted over two years in a hospital setting with a suburban population . The data collected included the method of delivery, anesthesia received during delivery, complications following delivery or prior to delivery such as indications for a cesarean-section, Foley required after patient was discharged and parity of patient. Women with recent urinary tract infection, pyelonephritis during pregnancy, diabetes and neuropathy were excluded from the study.
Based on our 2 year chart review we found 65 % of patients with retention had cesarean delivery and 15 % had operative vaginal deliveries , 62.5 percent were primiparous, 12 % had birth weight of >4000 grams, 68 percent received an epidural for anesthesia , 9.3 % required Foley postpartum.
Postpartum urinary retention is a relatively common condition. Some of the risk factors identified in our study include cesarean delivery, operative births, primiparous women and birth weight of > 4000 grams, epidural analgesia. This is an ongoing study and further multicenter study is required to confirm these risk factors.