Urge incontinence is a common form of urinary incontinence that occurs when you get an uncontrollable urge to urinate and you can’t hold on for more than a few minutes once you feel the urge to go.
It is usually due to involuntary or overactive bladder contractions. If you suffer from urge incontinence, rest assured you are far from alone.
What’s the story with urge incontinence?
We all know that sudden, awful feeling of panic when the urge to wee is so overwhelming that it takes every ounce of self control to prevent a little accident from occurring.
Urge incontinence is the second most common variety of urinary incontinence after stress incontinence. Women are more likely to suffer from urge incontinence than men are. This type of incontinence occurs when your bladder seems to develop a mind of its own and starts pushing out urine without you wanting it to, leaving you little or no time to make it to the bathroom. Sometimes urge incontinence can result in leaking considerable amounts of wee and this might even happen when you are asleep.
What happens when your bladder doesn’t do as it’s told?
Much like overflow incontinence, urge incontinence is the result of your bladder misbehaving. When your bladder is fully functioning and doing its job properly, the bladder muscle is generally relaxed, even while the bladder is filling. When it gets to about 50% full, you may start to feel that familiar urge to use the toilet.
Once you feel the need to go, you still have some time to get to the bathroom in a leisurely fashion. However, if you’re suffering from urge incontinence, you may not always make it in time. This is because the bladder seems to get its wires crossed. The brain sends a message to the bladder telling it to contract even though it is not particularly full. As a result you will suddenly need to use the toilet.
So it makes sense that one of the reasons that urge incontinence may develop without any apparent medical reason is that the part of the brain that controls urination may have undergone changes that is impairing the way your bladder functions.
What causes urge incontinence?
In some women the cause of urge incontinence remains a baffling mystery and the sufferer is otherwise healthy in every way. However, the causes of urge incontinence vary from minor problems, such as bladder infections and major problems such as neurological diseases and injuries.
Here’s a rundown of the serious conditions that may cause urge incontinence:
- UTI’s (urinary tract infections)
- Bladder stones
- Parkinsons disease
- Alzheimers disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal cord damage
Whatever the cause of your urge incontinence, don’t be tempted to self-diagnose or go into denial or simply hope it goes away. Because there could be a serious underlying cause of your urge incontinence, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor so the problem can be diagnosed and treated by an expert.
If your doctor can’t find anything seriously wrong, your urge incontinence may be called an overactive bladder or unstable bladder. Regardless of the cause, though, your doctor can explain the excellent treatment options that are out there and discuss which one is good for you.
Treating and dealing with urge incontinence
Just because you have urge incontinence doesn’t mean that you have to check the location of toilets wherever you go, or take spare pairs of undies in case your bladder acts up. Depending on the severity, urge incontinence can be cured and can always be discreetly managed. – just as you deal with your period every month.
If left untreated, you may find urge incontinence undermines your social, professional and sex life, so it’s best to get treatment sooner rather than later.
Your doctor will usually start with the least invasive treatment option. To get this right, one of the main things your doctor needs to do is correctly diagnose the cause of your urge incontinence. As urge incontinence is normally a result of another underlying condition, that underlying condition needs also to be identified and treated.
Here are the most commonly used urge incontinence treatment techniques, exercises and tips.