- Urinary incontinence is a symptom that can affect women of all ages, with a wide range of severity and impact on quality of life. It is common but not normal.
- Urgency urinary incontinence is defined as involuntary leakage of urine associated with urgency.
- Urgency urinary incontinence is often related to over-activity of the detrusor muscle, but symptoms could be due to a urinary tract infection, so this must always be excluded.
- The cause is often unknown. It is more prevalent in older (post-menopausal) women, but it may be linked to a family history or childhood history of similar symptoms.
- This type of urinary incontinence often occurs as part of group of symptoms called overactive bladder syndrome (OAB). Other OAB symptoms include urinary frequency and nocturia.
- There are many barriers to seeking advice/treatment for symptoms of UI. We also know that many women are not able to contract their pelvic floor muscles effectively, so if a woman reports symptoms please refer for further assessment.
Main presenting features:
- A sudden, intense need to empty the bladder which is often difficult to delay.
- The urge sensation may be linked to specific triggers, for example arrving home (latch-key urgency), a change of position or the sound of running water.
- An associated increase in urinary frequency or nocturia.