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Urge Incontinence

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When you feel a strong urge to urinate that cannot be controlled, it is medically termed to be Urge Incontinence. Your urinary bladder will contract involuntarily at this time, resulting in an unwanted leakage of urine. This can cause an embarrassing situation for you, mainly if you are in the company of many people.

Doctors often refer to this medical condition as overactive bladder, irritable bladder, spasmodic bladder, or detrusor instability. All these names are conferred to Urge Incontinence due to the abnormal contraction of urinary bladder muscles. The muscular sphincter at the base of the urinary bladder opens automatically when the bladder contracts and the stored urine leaks out. However, urine may not leak out all the time, depending on other health conditions. It is not a disease but can be a symptom of other health problems. Usually, it leads to urinary incontinence eventually, mainly in elderly men and women.

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What are the Causes of Urge Incontinence?

Malfunctioning of the bladder muscles is the primary reason for Urge Incontinence. These muscles may not work properly when the underlying nerves are damaged due to Parkinson’s disease, cerebral stroke, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis.

  • ● An injury to the spinal cord can cause the nerves of the urinary bladder to malfunction and result in this condition.
  • ● The urinary bladder may be irritated due to a bacterial infection in the muscles or nerves of the bladder.
  • ● Inflammation of the bladder tissues due to a disease can cause this condition. Bladder cancer or stone in the urinary bladder may be the reason for this inflammation.
  • ● Enlargement of the prostate gland may block the usual flow of the urine from the bladder in men, resulting in this urge.
  • ● Sometimes, this condition may also arise without any proper cause.

What are the Symptoms of Urge Incontinence?

The primary symptom of Urge Incontinence is the strong urge or desire to urinate, which cannot be neglected for long. This unexpected urge may appear at any time, irrespective of the fact whether you are awake or sleeping. Thus, you may feel this urge, and urine may leak out involuntarily while sleeping or when you are in the company of other people.

How is Urge Incontinence Diagnosed?

Generally, your doctor will check your medical history and the intensity of the Urge Incontinence as experienced by you. There are some simple clinical tests and advanced diagnostic examinations to confirm the cause and severity of this problem.

  • ● Urinalysis is the common test of your urine sample to find if there is an infection or signs of other diseases.
  • ● Urine culture determines the type of germ that has infected your urinary bladder.
  • ● Assessment of the pelvic floor is essential to check the capacity of the muscles of your pelvic region.
  • ● Cystoscopy is conducted by inserting a narrow fiberoptic scope fitted with a camera into your urethra and urinary bladder to take photos of these organs.
  • ● X-rays are conducted to get photos of your kidneys and the entire urinary tract, along with the digestive system. A dye can be injected into your blood, and a fluoroscopic X-ray is conducted to track the passage of this dye through your urine, as it moves out of your body. CT scan is another important way of getting detailed photos of your internal organs.
  • ● Cystometrogram checks the size and functioning capability of your urinary bladder.
  • ● Uroflowmetry tracks the amount of urine you release at a time and how fast the urine flows out of your urethras.
  • ● Stress tests are conducted by asking the patient to do some specific physical activities that are known to boost his/her urge to urinate.

How is Urge Incontinence Treated?

Usually, minor cases of Urge Incontinence can be handled by bringing some changes in the lifestyle. All foods and drinks that can irritate your bladder should be avoided, including alcohol and caffeine-rich drinks. You should quit smoking, as the smoke can make you cough, which leads to the urge to urinate. You should eat fiber-rich foods to prevent constipation, to avoid any pressure on your bladder. Weight loss and control of blood sugar levels are also essential for overweight people to prevent this urge. Kegel exercises are recommended to strengthen the pelvic muscles.

However, severe cases may need medical attention to prevent further complications.

  • Medicines: Various medications are available to treat urge incontinence. Fesoterodine, Mirabegron, Trospium, Tolterodine, and Oxybutynin are some medications that are usually prescribed for the treatment of this urge.
  • Injections: Botox or botulinum toxin is injected into the urinary bladder to prevent it from being overactive and contract anytime. It relaxes the muscles of the urinary bladder but also imposes a risk of urine retention in the future.
  • Stimulating device: A little nerve stimulating device can be inserted permanently under the skin of your abdominal region. It sends electrical waves to stimulate your sacral nerve and tibial nerve to restore the lost control over your
  • Catheter: The use of a urinary catheter is beneficial for emptying your bladder fully while urinating. You can use it at home, as per the directions of your doctor.
  • Surgery: This is the ultimate option for curing this urge that has turned into chronic urinary incontinence. These surgeries are meant to enhance the capacity of your bladder, improve nerve control on the bladder, and may even change the urine flow.

What is the Results of Urge Incontinence Treatment?

Timely treatment can completely cure Urge Incontinence.  Your doctor will prescribe a treatment that will help in eliminating this condition forever. In most cases, this urge is cured by some simple medications, unless some complications are the reason behind its occurrence.

What are the Risks Associated with Urge Incontinence treatments?

Though surgeries always have some risks of injuring other internal organs of the pelvic region, most patients are reportedly cured of Urge Incontinence through this process. Artificial slings can cause discomfort to patients in some cases if such slings are inserted by a surgery.

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What Foods are Good for Improving your Condition in the Case of Urge Incontinence?

Fiber-rich foods help cure constipation, and you should eat only healthy foods to strengthen your muscles.

Is Urge Incontinence a Common Problem for Diabetic Patients?

Diabetes is considered a factor that can cause this problem, as diabetic patients are more prone to urinate frequently. However, there may be other causes involved for this condition to occur as well.

Can Pregnancy be a Reason for this Urinary Condition?

All pregnant women do not experience an urge to urinate. However, vaginal delivery of the baby can sometimes cause this condition that usually disappears after some time.

What Foods Should be Avoided to Prevent this Urge?

Foods and drinks containing alcohol and caffeine should be limited to minimize the frequency of this urge to urinate.

Can this Problem Resurface Even After Medical Treatment?

Yes, patients often complain of this condition while coughing or sneezing during the weather change or if down with a viral infection.


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