That the muscles of the bladder may be acted on reflexly so as to prevent the normal act of urination is a common observation. This occurs particularly after gynecologic operations, and after operations on the rectum, anus, testicle and even more remote regions. That the explanation of some of these retentions is not a reflex nerve action but an actual injury to the nervous mechanism, or the urethra or bladder wall is undoubted fact.
Stoeckel and Ruge,1 in studying puerperal ischuria, almost invariably found an edematous ring about the internal sphincter. Steuernagel2 thought that some of the cases of retention of urine following labor were due to an increased bladder capacity. Thus he found that while the normal bladder would hold only between 560 and 550 c.c., the puerperal one could be made to contain under Pressure as much as from
CECIL AB. REFLEX RETENTION OF URINE. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(6):440-443. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270020120011