Basic principles:

  1. You must have urine in the bladder. If you are dehydrated then you must drink adequate fluids to fill the bladder. (If you have had surgery near the urinary bladder, you may feel like urinating even if the bladder is empty)
  2. Too much urine will stretch the bladder muscles so that they cannot contract.
  3. You must be comfortable and relaxed when you urinate, or at least as comfortable as possible.
  4. Whatever position hurts the least, works best.
    • sitting on toilet seat
    • lying or sitting in bed using a bed pan
  5. The room must be warm. Cold seems to inhibit urination, so make sure the bathroom or bedroom is warm.
  6. Sometimes it's just mind over matter.....but try
    • running water
    • dipping your hand in bowl of warm water
    • sitting in a bathtub of warm water (unless incision could get wet)
    • sitting or standing in a warm shower (unless incision could get wet)
    • thinking about water...lake, stream, ocean, etc.
    • placing a warm and wet towel on your stomach or back
  7. Straining to urinate may not help, in fact, may hinder urination. Try to relax as best possible.

If you still cannot void......Call your Doctor. You may need to be seen in the Emergency Room to have a catheter placed temporarily in your bladder until your bladder muscles start to work properly.