Effects of postoperative analgesia on postpartum urinary retention in women undergoing cesarean delivery

Ching Chung Liang*, Shuenn Dhy Chang, Shu Yam Wong, Yao Lung Chang, Po Jen Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aim: Various analgesics and administration methods are used to provide women undergoing cesarean delivery pain relief after surgery. We compared three methods of postoperative analgesia regarding the incidence of postpartum urinary retention (PUR) in primiparous women undergoing elective cesarean delivery. Methods: We estimated post-void residual bladder volume after the first postpartum micturition among 150 parturient women. Risk factors stratified for PUR defined by 150-mL post-void residual bladder volume were analyzed. Obstetric parameters and prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms after surgery were compared among three groups of parturient women given different postoperative analgesia: epidural bolus morphine (EBM), patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) with ropivacaine-fentanyl, and intramuscular pethidine. Results: The incidence of PUR was higher in the group given EBM (33.3%) than the groups receiving ropivacaine-fentanyl by PCEA (15%) or intramuscular pethidine (16.7%) (P = 0.038). Eighteen (12%) parturient women needed bladder catheterization to resolve their urinary retention at 1 day postpartum but all achieved spontaneous micturition prior to hospital discharge. The need for catheterization was also increased in the group with EBM (21.7%) in comparison with the other two groups (6.7% and 3.3%, respectively, P = 0.011). At the 3-month follow up, six women (4%) had obstructive voiding problems and seven women (4.7%) had irritating voiding problems. At the 1-year follow up, only one woman in the EBM group had incomplete emptying and another in the PCEA group had urinary incontinence. Conclusion: Epidural analgesia with morphine was significantly associated with post-cesarean urinary retention. Nonetheless, it was not detrimental to later urinary function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-995
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 10 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • cesarean section
  • postoperative analgesia
  • postpartum
  • urinary retention


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of postoperative analgesia on postpartum urinary retention in women undergoing cesarean delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this