What Are the Symptoms of an Irritable Bladder?


Quick Answer

An overactive bladder may cause a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate, in some cases more than eight times per day, according to Mayo Clinic. Another symptom is urge incontinence, defined as involuntarily losing urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate.

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What Are the Symptoms of an Irritable Bladder?
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Full Answer

Individuals with irritable bladders may awaken two or more times per night to urinate, a symptom medical professionals call nocturia, notes Mayo Clinic. Overactive bladder conditions typically affect older adults, although the condition is not a normal part of the aging process. Several treatments are available for overactive bladder syndrome, including behavior strategies. Some of these treatments include pelvic floor muscle exercises, weight loss, changes in fluid consumption and scheduled toilet trips. Other treatments include intermittent catheterization, absorbent pads and double voiding, which is the practice of urinating twice in one sitting with a few minutes' wait in between each attempt.

Doctors usually recommend that their patients take a simple urodynamic test to assess the function of the bladder and measure the amount of urine left inside after urination, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors may also measure the flow rate of urine and can test the internal pressure of the bladder using a cystometry device and a catheter.

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