Urinary Urgency and Frequency

Urinary urgency is a term used to refer to the sudden and sometimes uncontrollable urge to urinate. Urgent urination often comes with pain and discomfort, so you not only feel a sudden urge to urinate but you also feel the urge repeatedly throughout the day. Urinary urgency and frequency can occur in women and men of all ages due to a number of different causes.

Woman with Urinary Urgency

Causes of Urgent Urination

Irritation of the bladder often leads to symptoms of urgency. This can be due to a medical condition such as Interstitial Cystitis but is often simply caused by poor bladder habits, concentrated urine or consumption of bladder irritants. Pelvic floor dysfunction is another cause of urgency and frequency symptoms.

Urinary tract infections, bladder dysfunction, urinary tract stones and vaginitis can also cause urinary urgency and frequency. Some women experience the condition during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, because the fetus pushes against the bladder.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Because so many different medical issues can cause symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency, Dr. Erika Grace will spend some time during your initial consultation exploring your medical history. For example, she will ask you questions to find out when the urinary frequency increased and what changed in your life at that time.

What time of the day the increase occurs (day or night) and how many times a day you are urinating is also important. Having pain or a burning sensation, as well as changes in the color of urine, are also important clues to determine the cause of the problem.

When urgent urination in women becomes mixed with other symptoms such as increased thirst, fever or abdominal pain, this could indicate the need for additional medical tests. Undergoing a urine culture or an ultrasound can help rule out major medical issues and help Dr. Grace figure out the best treatment course.

Starting Treatment

If your urinary urgency and frequency are due to an underlying infection or other medical issue, you might need to take medication. Even in that case, pelvic physical therapy may be needed as well to fully resolve your symptoms.

Because certain foods and drinks can worsen urinary urgency, often changes in diet can help. Sometimes reducing things like alcohol, acidic foods and artificial sweeteners makes a significant difference.

Additional Treatment

Many patients with urinary urgency also experience spasms of the pelvic floor. A number of therapies, including pelvic floor relaxation exercises, can be used to ease spasms and help relax the pelvic floor.

Many people also benefit from the use of biofeedback to address spasms that trigger urinary urgency. Learning to voluntarily relax the pelvic floor muscles can reduce the symptoms associated with this issue.

During your meeting with Dr. Grace, you will be able to discuss the options available to you to treat and address urinary urgency. If you don’t have a support network in pelvic health in North Carolina, Dr. Grace can become an important ally in helping you understand the  issues you’re going through.