Most people have heard of incontinence as a condition involving the loss of bladder control. However, not many people are aware of urgency incontinence and how it differs from other forms of incontinence. Urgency incontinence is a medical condition characterized by a sudden and strong urge to urinate that is often difficult to control. It can be distressing and embarrassing, causing anxiety and disrupting daily life activities. In this blog post, we will go in-depth with urgency incontinence, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are various types of urinary incontinence that one can experience including urge incontinence, stress incontinence, overflow incontinence, and mixed incontinence. Urge incontinence is the most common type experienced by people with urgency incontinence. Stress incontinence, on the other hand, is due to the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that can be linked to laughing, coughing, or sneezing. Overflow incontinence, as the name suggests, is due to the bladder being full all the time and the body’s inability to empty it, which can lead to urinary tract infections. Mixed incontinence is the result of having a combination of stress and urge incontinence.

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Urgency incontinence is due to the overactivity of the detrusor muscle, which is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of the bladder. This overactivity can cause the bladder to contract even when it contains just a small amount of urine, resulting in the sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate. Other factors that can contribute to urgency incontinence include bladder infections, neurological disorders, drug side effects, and prostate problems in men.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

The most common symptom of urgency incontinence is the sudden and overwhelming need to urinate, which can result in an involuntary leakage of urine. Other symptoms include frequent urination, waking up frequently during the night to urinate, and feelings of urgency even when the bladder is empty. It is also not uncommon for people with urgency incontinence to constantly plan their activities around the availability of a restroom.

Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

There are several treatment options available for urgency incontinence, and often, a combination of treatments is necessary for the best outcomes. Some of the treatments include lifestyle changes such as dietary adjustments, pelvic floor exercises, and Kegels, and bladder training to help increase the bladder’s capacity. Medications such as anticholinergics and beta-agonists can also be prescribed to help calm the overactivity of the detrusor muscle. Botox injections and nerve stimulation are other treatment options that can help subside the symptoms in severe cases. For those who do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be an option.


Urgency incontinence can be a distressing and embarrassing condition that can disrupt one’s daily life. However, with the right treatment, people with urgency incontinence can significantly improve their quality of life. It’s essential to speak to a medical professional to diagnose and treat urgency incontinence effectively.

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