Definition of Urinary Urgency

The overwhelming sensation of the need to urinate. Urinary urgency, also called overactive bladder, can cause a person to urinate dozens of times each day.

Though a common symptom of conditions such as cystitis and urinary tract infection (uti), especially when urgency occurs in combination with urinary frequencY, urgency may indicate a blockage in the urinary tract or result from neurologic conditions or injuries. Urinary urgency may also result in urinary incontinence (inability to hold the urine), even when the amount of urine in the bladder is small.

Diagnostic Path and Treatment

Other common causes include diabetes, pregnancy in women and benign prostatic hyperplasia (bph) in men. The diagnostic path begins with an assessment of any symptoms that accompany the urinary urgency, urinalysis, and perhaps procedures such as cystoscopy and pelvic ultrasound to examine the bladder and urethra. Treatment targets any identified underlying cause. The doctor may prescribe medications such as tolterodine or oxybutynin to slow the bladder’s response.

See also NEUROGENIC BLADDERURINARY RETENTION.

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