Urge Incontinence

Urge incontinence (also known irritable bladder) is a condition involving bladder storage and urine control. There is a sudden and frequent uncontrollable need to urinate. Urine leakage may accompany these urges.

Urge incontinence may cause isolation due to social embarrassment or impairment from working due to the frequency of bathroom visits. It may also cause chronic fatigue from frequent nighttime bathroom visits.

Urge incontinence is not a normal condition of aging and may signal a more serious underlying medical problem that should be further investigated.

Causes and Risks

Reasons associated with urinary incontinence include:

  • Bladder infection or inflammation
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder stones *
  • Obstruction of the bladder opening
  • Hypertrophic (Enlarged) prostate in men
  • Nervous system disease (i.e. stroke, multiple sclerosis)
  • Trauma to spinal cord or nervous system
  • Obesity
  • Acidic or spicy diet
  • Frequency of bathroom visits

* More than 95% of bladder stones are developed in men.  Children form stones from severe dehydration.

According to the NIH, 45,000 men and 17,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer annually.


In addition to wetness, signs to watch out for include:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pain in the pelvic area (Suprapubic)
  • New spate of symptoms that last for several days
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