We all know the feeling of needing to go to the toilet to wee! Ideally, the urge to urinate should come on gradually and be related to how much urine is in the bladder. In simple terms, the bladder stretches as it fills with urine and gives us the signal that we need to urinate. If the bladder isn’t too full, we can often delay this urge until it’s convenient for us to go to the toilet. However, in urinary urgency and overactive bladder, the urge is strong and sudden, and often not related to the bladder being full. This can result in frequent urination (having to go to the toilet often), bladder discomfort and urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) which can really impact your quality of life.
There are many possible contributing factors to urinary urgency, frequency and overactive bladder. Sometimes the bladder has developed poor habits or learned an association between a particular task and needing to wee (e.g. feeling busting when you first get home, needing to pee when you get in the shower). Sometimes the lining of the bladder is irritated by an infection (or having had an infection in the past) or by the urine itself. Sometimes there are dietary triggers that irritate the bladder (unfortunately alcohol and coffee are two of the most common bladder irritants!). Sometimes the bladder doesn’t empty fully when you urinate, leaving urine behind and making your bladder feel full again quickly. Sometimes the bladder is irritated by something else within the pelvic cavity pressing on it (e.g. constipation, uterine fibroids).
Effective management of urinary urgency, frequency and overactive bladder requires accurate identification of all factors contributing to your symptoms, in your particular case. Our Physiotherapists trained in Women’s Health will conduct a thorough assessment to identify the factors contributing to your symptoms and assist you with a treatment plan to address these factors. We can work with your medical team (e.g. GP, urologist, urogynecologist etc) to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved.
If you are experiencing urinary urgency, frequency or have an overactive bladder, our physiotherapist’s trained in Women’s Health are here to help.