Female voiding dysfunction

Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2008 Aug;63(8):519-26. doi: 10.1097/OGX.0b013e31817f1214.


Female voiding dysfunction unrelated to childbirth is common but poorly understood, and most often occurs as a result of detrusor hypotonia and less frequently in association with bladder outlet obstruction. Specific causes include anti-incontinence surgery, bladder over-distension, painful infective, allergic or chemical reactions of the urogenital tissues, bladder outlet obstruction, dyssynergia of the bladder-urethral sphincter mechanism, neurogenic, pharmacological, and psychogenic causes. A thorough history and examination is essential in the clinical assessment. It should be followed by investigations including urine microbiology, frequency volume diaries, ultrasound scan, uroflowmetry, and, when indicated, subtracted voiding cystometry, electromyography, and cystourethroscopy. The main treatment modalities are catheterization (self-intermittent, suprapubic, urethral, in order of preference), bladder retraining, biofeedback, and, rarely, surgery or sacral neuromodulation.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery, Obstetric / adverse effects
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography
  • Urinary Incontinence* / classification
  • Urinary Incontinence* / diagnosis
  • Urinary Incontinence* / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence* / prevention & control