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Urinary Retention and Constipation

Difficulty in passing urine is called urinary retention.  It is often managed at first by passing a thin plastic tube (a catheter) into the bladder to allow it to drain continuously.  However, because there is a small risk of infection, if you are one of the few people who continue to need that kind of help the tube will be removed and inserted again every 4-6 hours until your bladder begins to work normally again.  A few people will need a catheter long term (it may allow you to have greater freedom than having incontinence that is difficult to control) but most people will not.

Constipation happens to lots of people – not just to those with stroke.  But if you are much less mobile than you were, perhaps not getting enough bulky foods if you are finding it difficult to swallow, or not getting enough fluid if you are finding it difficult to ask for drinks or to get the cup to your mouth, then you are more likely to have this problem. 

Ask your nurse or pharmacist for advice – there are lots of simple tricks to improve things and some medicines may also help.