Urge Incontinence Treatment

Urge incontinence - otherwise known as overactive bladder or spastic bladder—is a condition that causes an involuntary loss of urine. If you suffer from urge incontinence, leakage typically occurs when you have a strong, sudden need to urinate. The urge can happen suddenly and at any time, regardless of the amount of urine in the bladder. These urges cause urine to leak out of the bladder unexpectedly.

Urinary incontinence can range from mild, occasional leaking to chronic uncontrolled urination. Incontinence itself is not a disease; it is usually a symptom of an underlying medical condition, like urinary tract infections, vaginal infections or constipation. In this case, urge incontinence is usually temporary, although it can be chronic if left untreated.

Causes of Urge Incontinence

The urgent and frequent need to pass urine is usually caused by a problem with the muscles in the walls of the bladder. At the root of urge incontinence is the detrusor muscles, which relax to allow the bladder to fill with urine and then contract when you finish urinating. If you have urge incontinence, the detrusor muscles contract too often, creating an urgent need to urinate.

The reason a person's detrusor muscles contract too often may not always be clear, but possible causes include:

In most cases, we don't know why urge incontinence develops. In such cases, the condition is called overactive bladder syndrome. Symptoms may get worse at times of stress or after drinking caffeinated drinks. Some women develop  urge incontinence after menopause because a drop in estrogen can cause the lining of the vagina to shrink.

Diagnosis of Urge Incontinence

For some people, urge incontinence is just an inconvenience that does not require medical treatment. However, if it impedes your daily activities, you may want to visit your doctor to discuss treatment options. To diagnose urge incontinence, your doctor will ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. He or she may also order a bladder stress test or urinalysis testing.

Your physician may recommend further urodynamic testing if surgery is an option or if other treatments have failed. This series of tests provides a more advanced way to check bladder function. The actual tests a physician performs during urodynamic testing often vary, but, in general, urodynamic testing includes the following:

Treatment of Urge Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is not something that occurs normally with age. Most people who suffer from persistent urge incontinence turn to their doctors for treatment. The best treatment depends on the cause of your incontinence, but treatment of urge incontinence generally includes the following:

Request more information about urge incontinence today. Call (408) 946-9453 or contact us online.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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