Urge Incontinence and Overactive Bladder (for both men and women)
Urge incontinence is a common condition which causes the bladder to contract suddenly in an uncontrolled way. Contractions often occur when the bladder is not full. About one in six people experience some symptoms of an overactive bladder.
Normally, the bladder muscle, called the detrusor, is relaxed as the bladder fills up. Once the bladder becomes about half full, it is gradually stretched and we feel the need to pass urine. When a person has urge incontinence, nerves located within their bladder send the wrong messages to the brain. This means that the bladder may feel full when it is fairly empty and contracts too early, making the person feel a sudden and overwhelming need to pass urine.
Symptoms of the overactive bladder
- You may experience an overwhelming desire to pass urine.
- You need to go to the toilet much more frequently than other people.
- You may wake up at night wanting to go the toilet, two or three times every night.
- There may be some leaking of urine before you are able to get to the toilet in time.
Isn’t it just a part of getting older?
We commonly see patients who put up with debilitating symptoms for months or years because they believe they are just a result of the aging process. Symptoms can develop gradually and people adjust their lives around those symptoms. However, we would urge you to seek medical advice if:
- You are experiencing pain in your bladder or abdomen area.
- If you are getting up to go to the toilet more than once a night.
- If your symptoms are affecting your lifestyle and well being.