National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Reduced urine flow - women

Get help from a health care professional, or talk to your supervisor or care coordinator if the person:

  • looks unwell or has pain in their abdomen (stomach) or anus (bottom)
  • has signs of a urinary tract infection - temperature, shivering, pain in the lower back, blood in their urine.


A reduced urine flow can affect women of all ages.

Women experiencing problems with reduced urine flow should go to their general practitioner (GP) or other health care professional to find out what is causing it and how it can be treated.

If the woman is in distress get help straight away.

What do you do if the woman you support has reduced urine flow?

  • Talk about care with your supervisor, their care coordinator or a health care professional.
  • Manage constipation issues, as reduced urine flow could be caused by stored faeces blocking the urethra from the outside and not allowing the urine to come out.
  • Check if they have started any new medicines. Don't stop the medicines, but tell the person's doctor if they develop problems with their urine flow.

Why might they have reduced urine flow?

Reduced urine flow can be caused by many things, including:

  • a prolapse of the pelvic organs, which can block the urethra. For more information, go to Prolapse.
  • a urethra blockage caused by a full bladder, which can put pressure on the urethra and make it difficult to pass urine
  • a urinary tract infection (UTI). For more information, go to Urinary tract infections.
  • constipation or faecal impaction
  • taking medicines that can interfere with how the bladder works, e.g. some medicines used to treat incontinence and colds
  • medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, or a spinal injury.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

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This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.