Urgency (overactive bladder)

Quickkkkk , it’s urgent!

Are you the type of person who knows the location of toilets everywhere in the city? You don’t leave home before going to the bathroom 3 times? Have you always been known to have a “bladder the size of a pea”? You most likely have symptoms of “urgency”.

What is urgency?

Urgency, or overactive bladder, is a medical condition that causes frequent and urgent desires to urinate, which may or may not be associated with urinary incontinence; we will then talk about urgent urinary incontinence. This is a common condition, which affects 1 in 5 people, male or female, between 35-65 years old. This condition may be secondary to a particular health problem, for example: urinary tract infection, certain diseases, or a side effect of medication. It is therefore important to consult your doctor first to identify the potential causes of your problem.

What is the cause?

In cases where there is no contributory health component, urgency can be caused by nerve signal dysfunction between your brain and your bladder: you receive the message that you need to empty your bladder although it is not really full. It can also be the result of hyperactivity of your bladder muscles, which make your bladder contract to empty before it is full, thus causing strong pressure on your bladder and therefore a strong urge to urinate.

This condition can be extremely disturbing, invading all spheres of a person’s life and affecting work, travel, sleep and interpersonal relationships. The anxiety of not being able to find a toilet on time may prevent the person from participating in sports activities or going on outings. In some cases, the urge becomes so present and so strong that it can even be painful.

What are the treatments?

Treatment for an overactive bladder is possible. Beyond the medical aspect (drugs, injections), pelvic-perineal physiotherapy can help. Your physiotherapist will help you to change certain lifestyle habits that can have an impact on your condition, such as hydration, urination habits and regularization of the muscle function in the pelvic area. They can also suggest to you the use of TENS, a device that produces electrical impulses that modulates the nerve impulse.

These therapies, that have proven effective in the treatment of urinary urgency, can help you, and soon you will be able to do the Sherbrooke-Montreal route without stopping at L’Ange-Gardien!