Urge Urinary Incontinence

What Is Urge Urinary Incontinence?

Urge Urinary Incontinence is the sudden urge to urinate, even if your body doesn’t need to empty your bladder. The condition impacts the signals between the bladder and the brain, and affects the bladder’s natural ability to communicate when it is full. This means you might only have a few seconds to reach the bathroom in time. You may experience bladder leakage if you don’t make it.

On the other hand, your bladder might tell your brain it needs to empty when it isn’t full, leading it to be triggered by something like a change of position or the sound of running water.

Urge Urinary Incontinence may be linked to an Overactive Bladder (OAB). An overactive bladder is caused by a combination of the number of times you visit the bathroom, your urgency to urinate, and nocturia (waking up in the night to urinate).

How Common Is Urge Urinary Incontinence?

Urge urinary incontinence is the second most common type of urinary incontinence in Australia. It impacts almost 2 out of 5 women and 1 in 10 men. Men with Urge Urinary Incontinence often experience this in older age as a result of prostate disease. Those between the ages of 70 – 84 have a 30% chance of experiencing the condition, which increases to 50% for those over the age of 85.

What Causes Urge Incontinence?

Urge Incontinence can be caused by a number of influencing factors, including:

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Emotions, stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
  • Neurological conditions: Parkinsons, Alzheimers, Dementia or a stroke
  • Nerve or spinal cord damage: spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, childbirth
  • Constipation
  • Ageing
  • Prolapse
  • Enlarged prostate (men)
  • Bladder problems: infections, stones, inflammation, cancer, obstruction

What Are The Symptoms Of Urge Urinary Incontinence?

Urge Urinary Incontinence causes the sudden urge to urinate and more frequent trips to the bathroom. If this is combined with pain or a burning sensation, visit your doctor immediately as this may indicate a more serious medical condition. Urge Urinary Incontinence can also impact quality of life, leading people to remain at home near their bathroom or not participate in their usual activities.

How Is Urge Urinary Incontinence Diagnosed?

Urge Urinary Incontinence is diagnosed by:

  • A consultation to determine contributing factors in your daily life. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and how often you urinate
  • Physical examination, such as:
    • A urinalysis to check for a UTI
    • A check to make sure your bladder is completely emptying
    • A digital examination to assess pelvic floor function

You may be asked to complete a bladder diary, which helps your consultant assess how often you urinate, any potential triggers and the volume of urine your bladder ejects.

How Is Urge Incontinence Treated?

There are a number of treatment plans that can help you manage your Urge Incontinence. Our consultants will:

  • Provide education on the condition and pelvic anatomy
  • Help you with lifestyle changes, like how much water you drink
  • Manage your posture and muscle control to aid voiding
  • Help you with bladder and pelvic floor muscle training
  • Suggest on calming strategies to help manage the condition
  • Decide on whether electrical stimulation can help

Get in touch with our team of specialists at Sydney Pelvic Clinic for more advice and an initial consultation for your Urinary Urge Incontinence.