Urinary Urgency & Urge Incontinence

Urinary Urgency & Urge Incontinence

Urinary urgency is defined as an abnormally sudden urge to urinate.  When you experience an involuntary loss of urine following  this urge, it is known as Urge Incontinence.  Urge Incontinence can also be referred to as overactive bladder. 


Initial Assessment
Upon seeking treatment for overactive bladder, an initial assessment will be done to determine the treatment plan that will work best for you.  First steps include: 

  • Completing a bladder survey including past medical history, symptom severity and any treatments you’ve previously tried.
  • Categorizing your condition as Stress, Urge or Mixed Urinary Incontinence.
  • Performing urinalysis, a post-void bladder scan and possible imaging.
  • A possible pelvic exam.
  • Keeping and reviewing a voiding diary.

You will also be instructed to make Lifestyle Modifications that may include:


  • Modifying fluid intake.
  • Weight loss.
  • Tobacco cessation.
  • Avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, carbonation and certain acidic foods.
  • Monitoring your bowel habits (constipation).

Conservative Managment
If lifestyle modifications have not improved your Urge Incontinence symptoms, next steps include: 

  • Timed voiding.
  • Biofeedback.
  • Physical therapy for the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Medication (anticholinergics).
  • PTNS (Posterior Tibial Nerve Stimulation).
  • InterStim PNE (Periperal Nerve Evaluation).


Surgical Managment
For some women surgical intervention may be required.  Prior to surgery, Urodynamic testing may be considered for further evaluation of bladder function.  Surgical options your provider may recommend include: 

  • Botox Injections
  • InterStim Therapy – Sacral Neuromodulation

Educational Resources

iDry is a free app that helps you overcome urinary incontinence (UI).  It lets you easily log events, track your progress, predict your future success, identify and measure factors that affect your UI, and share your progress with your doctor.

Urinary Incontinence by Meagan Rose, PA-C

The Aging Urinary System by Cindy Hauser, NP-C

Urinary Urgency by John Wolfe, PA-C, CUPA