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Risk of Urinary Retention

astronaut working on toilet on ISS
Astronaut Mark Vande Hei swaps out components on an advanced new toilet installed inside the International Space Station.

Exposure to the altered gravity in the spaceflight environment may cause physiological changes. One of these changes is the inability to completely empty the bladder or urinary retention. Causes of urinary retention in the early phases of flight include altered baseline physiology seen with exposure to microgravity, the anticholinergic side effects of medications that are taken to combat space motion sickness, and other factors. Urinary retention may impact health on orbit by causing discomfort and increasing the risk of urinary tract infection. Treatment, including urethral catheterization, has been performed on orbit.

Directed Acyclic Graph Files

+ DAG File Information (HSRB Home Page)

+ Urinary Retention Risk DAG and Narrative (PDF)

+ Urinary Retention Risk DAG Code (TXT)



Last Updated
Sep 26, 2023
Robert E. Lewis