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Urge urinary incontinence is urinary leakage that comes with a strong, uncontrollable urge. Studies estimate that 5-20% of people with female anatomy experience urge urinary incontinence. It’s common, normal, and treatable!

Urge incontinence is often something that only happens in certain situations. Examples include: when you put your key in the door, when you hear running water, or when you’re going to the toilet with a full bladder. 

Why urge urinary incontinence happens:

Urge Urinary Incontinence kegel

Being able to control your bladder depends on both involuntary and voluntary processes. Essentially, urge urinary incontinence occurs when the bladder is triggered to contract and it’s too strong for you to stop yourself from leaking!

Treatment strategies for urge urinary incontinence:

  • Bladder training (more information here)
  • Pelvic floor muscle training (learn to do a Kegel here!)
    • May be more or less helpful depending on the person 
    • Urge urinary incontinence is different than stress incontinence, which is more of a strength issue!
  • Avoid bladder irritants (find more information here)
  • Improve stress/anxiety coping skills
    • Many with urge incontinence and/or urinary urgency have more symptoms when they’re more stressed or anxious
  • Nearby structures can contribute to urge urinary incontinence. Some people have urinary urgency that is associated with hip muscle issues. A skilled pelvic PT can help you evaluate this! 
  • Medication
    • Medication can be a good option for urge urinary incontinence, but may have significant side effects. 
    • We recommend consulting with an expert in bladder function, such as a urogynecologist, to weigh risks and benefits.

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