‘Was a breaking point…’: UK woman unable to urinate for over a year diagnosed with a rare condition


A 30-year-old woman in the United Kingdom, who was unable to urinate despite consuming excess fluid was diagnosed with an uncommon disease. A London-based content creator, Elle Adams learned about her inability to urinate in October 2022, New York Post reported.

Elle Adams was diagnosed with Fowler’s syndrome.(Instagram/ellenextdoor)

“I was extremely healthy. I had no other problems. I woke up one day and I wasn’t able to wee. I was very concerned,” Adams said, as per the outlet. “I was at breaking point – my life had completely changed. I wasn’t able to complete a simple task like go to the toilet,” she added.

Adams visited the emergency room at St. Thomas Hospital in London and explained her symptoms to the doctor, where she was informed about a litre of pee in her bladder. Usually, the urinary bladder can hold up to 500ml of urine in women and 700ml in men.

Doctors then gave Adams an emergency catheter, a tube passed into the bladder to drain urine. She was given the option to take the catheter out and try to go to the bathroom or go home and come back to the hospital for re-evaluation in three weeks.

After visiting the urology center a week later, Adams was then taught how to self-catheter and was sent home.

14 months later, Adams was diagnosed with Fowler’s syndrome. She tried a variety of drugs, but nothing worked. Adams’ diagnosis meant that she would require a catheter for the rest of her life to urinate. “I was told how I was likely suffering from Fowler’s. I was talked through the treatment options which were minimal — we did try medication but it just made no difference,” she said.

Fowler’s syndrome is the inability to empty the bladder and mainly affects young women.

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