What is postvoid residual?

About 70 percent of the adult population in the United States may have bladder health problems, such as postvoid residual (PVR), at some point in their life. PVR is the amount of urine that remains in your bladder after you urinate.

The bladder is made of muscles and usually squeezes all of the urine out. Having urine left in the bladder could be caused by:

  • An enlarged prostate
  • A narrowing in the urethra (a thin tube through which urine leaves your body
  • A blockage in any part of the urinary tract
  • Bladder damage
  • Neurological problems
  • Side effect of medications like antidepressants, anticholinergics, and/or decongestants

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/13/2017.


  • Kelly CE. Evaluation of voiding dysfunction and measurement of bladder volume. Rev Urol. 2004;6 Suppl 1:S32-7.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Urodynamic testing Accessed 7/18/2017

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