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What is urge incontinence?


Urge incontinence occurs when you suddenly feel the need to pass urine on a frequent basis. This happens when the detrusor muscles contract more than usual within the walls of your bladder, which triggers an immediate need to go to the toilet.


Urge incontinence causes

Feeling the symptoms of urge incontinence can be an alarming experience for anyone. Sometimes, this urgent need to urinate does not give you enough time to find a toilet leading to involuntary leakage, which can be a particularly frustrating experience if you are out and about in public. However, there are certain triggers of urge incontinence that you may be able to contain.

How much should you be drinking?

Firstly, you need to think if you’re drinking the right amount of fluids on a daily basis. Drinking too much liquid will leave you producing large amounts of urine (polyuria), and a frequent urge to go to the toilet. You may also crave extra fluids as a result of having diabetes with high blood sugar (hyperglycaemia), so try to keep your sugar intake down to avoid risk of diabetes, and consequently, urge incontinence. 
 
A low fluid intake can also trigger feelings of urgency though. Avoiding drinking fluids will lead to concentrated urine which can build up in your bladder causing irritation, and consequently make you a frequent visitor to the toilet. Dehydration is also a risk factor for constipation which could well lead to a urinary infection.
 
 
This does vary from person to person though – the number can depend on what you eat (as foods contains fluids), if you exercise, or if there’s hot weather (as you sweat a lot more and will require more drink). You should always be having a look at your urine – ideally, it should be pale yellow, and be aware that the darker it is, the more concentrated it will be.

Other urge incontinence triggers

It may be that you need to up your water intake, but there are other drinks which should be avoided as much as possible – alcohol, energy drinks, caffeine and even tea are all prime instigators in urge incontinence. Therefore, it would be a good idea to limit these drinks as much as possible from your diet.
 
Of course, there are other triggers. These can include conditions which impact your urethra such as a urinary tract infection (UTI). In addition to this, constipation can cause urge incontinence as an inability to empty the bowel properly puts pressure on your bladder, while some medications can have a side effect which triggers involuntary leakage.
 
Meanwhile, bladder stones can cause an obstruction leading to urge incontinence as can an enlarged prostate for men. There are causes unique to women as well – a fragile post-menopausal mucous can trigger burning and irritation, while gynaecological conditions such as prolapse or an ovarian tumour can also lead to urge incontinence.

We understand that it can sometimes feel like urge incontinence is unbeatable, but TENA products can help you to manage it effectively. Have a look on the following pages to find out more, and pick the product that is best suited to you: