OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of clinically overt postpartum urinary retention after vaginal delivery and to examine what maternal, fetal, and obstetric factors are associated with this problem. STUDY DESIGN: This was a retrospective case-controlled study of women who had overt postpartum urinary retention after vaginal delivery from August 1992 through April 2000. RESULTS: Fifty-one of 11,332 (0.45%) vaginal deliveries were complicated by clinically overt postpartum urinary retention. In most cases (80.4%), the problem had resolved before hospital dismissal. Persons with urinary retention were more likely than control subjects to be primiparous (66.7% vs 40.0%; P < .001), to have had an instrument-assisted delivery (47.1% vs 12.4%; P < .001), to have received regional analgesia (98.0% vs 68.8%; P<.001), and to have had a mediolateral episiotomy (39.2% vs 12.5%; P<.001). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, of these 4 variables, only instrument-assisted delivery and regional analgesia were significant independent risk factors. CONCLUSION: Clinically overt postpartum urinary retention complicates approximately 1 in 200 vaginal deliveries, with most resolving before hospital dismissal. Factors that are independently associated with its occurrence include instrument-assisted delivery and regional analgesia.
- Instrument-assisted delivery
- Postpartum urinary retention