What is Urinary Urgency?

Malcolm Tatum

Urinary urgency is a condition in which an individual experiences a constant and compelling urge to urinate, even after urinating recently. This continual urge to urinate can make it very difficult to engage in normal activities such as shopping, attending entertainment events, or participating in sports. If left untreated, urinary urgency can lead an individual to becoming a recluse, effectively trapped in his or her own home.

Soft drinks can trigger urinary urgency.
Soft drinks can trigger urinary urgency.

It is important to note that urinary urgency and urinary incontinence are two distinct bladder problems. While both conditions involve abnormal contractions in the bladder wall, incontinence leads to an inability to control urination. By contrast, a person undergoing urinary urgency does not normally lose control, but lives with a constant feeling of needing to relieve the bladder.

A person suffering from urinary urgency experiences a constant urge to urinate.
A person suffering from urinary urgency experiences a constant urge to urinate.

There are several possible causes for urinary urgency. One of the more common has to do with some type of inflammation or irritation in the bladder wall itself. As the body attempts to fight off the infection, the muscles in the bladder wall begin to contract in a manner that mimics the preparation for urination. This in turn, conveys to the individual that the bladder is full and needs to be emptied.

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In some cases, the issue can result due to problems with surrounding organs. Men with prostate issues sometimes experience urinary urgency as one of the symptoms. Often, treating the prostate will alleviate the constant sense of needing to urinate, allowing the individual to have more confidence in going about his daily routine.

Some people experience bouts of urinary urgency as a result of consuming certain foods and beverages. This is especially true with liquids that contain higher amounts of caffeine and acid. Coffee, different types of tea, and many soft drink products can trigger temporary episodes of urgency. People who are somewhat sensitive to artificial sweeteners may find they have the urge to relieve themselves more often. When there has been some type of trauma to the bladder, even fruit juices can trigger a great deal of urinary urgency.

When anyone experiences urinary urgency, it is important to seek medical attention. While the condition can often be corrected by making dietary changes, there is also the possibility that treatment will be necessary. This is especially true if the urgency is triggered by a urinary infection, the presence of bladder stones, or a problem with an organ located near the bladder. The good news is that modern medicine can often identify the origin of the urgency quickly and easily, and the resulting treatments often bring relief within a very short period of time.

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