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Are you running to the bathroom all day long?

Understanding Urgency

Do you always feel a strong urge to urinate and don’t think you will make it to the bathroom in time? Does this sensation continue only minutes after you just emptied your bladder? You may be experiencing urinary urgency. Often this strong urge is accompanied by very little urine when you pee, which is not consistent with the sensation of urgency.

Urinary urgency can occur for various reasons. One explanation for these symptoms is overactive bladder. Overactive bladder gives you a strong urge to empty your bladder frequently throughout the day. The urge to pee is so strong sometimes that you may not make it to the bathroom in time.

Overactive bladder can be the result of diet, bad habits, overactivity of pelvic floor muscles, and poor bladder emptying techniques secondary to poor relaxation. Let’s explore these options.

What kind of diet could aggravate your bladder? Consider bladder irritants. Bladder irritants are drinks and foods which are highly concentrated, high in sugar, carbonated, and caffeinated and can cause bladder lining irritation. This irritation could result in the bladder contracting when it is not really supposed to contract. Some common bladder irritants include soda, coffee, tea, juices, and alcohol.

What kind of habits are considered bad habits for my bladder? Suppose you are always in a hurry when you use the bathroom and do not properly undress, sit, and relax to empty your bladder. This will result in poor relaxation and as a result the bladder will not correctly empty. Some individuals have the opposite problem; they go to the bathroom frequently every time they feel a slight urge or every time they are leaving their home because they want to go “just in case” and make sure their bladder is completely empty. “Just in case” or JIC voiding can teach your bladder to empty even when the bladder is not full.

Urinary urgency could also be a result of overactive pelvic floor muscles. An overactive pelvic floor muscle is a muscle that does not adequately relax when it is supposed to relax. When urinating, if your pelvic floor muscles do not completely relax, you may not completely empty your bladder. This can happen for the reasons mentioned above for poor relaxation, as well as individuals who squat to urinate in public places. Squatting or hovering over the toilet keeps you from completely relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. Overactive pelvic floor muscles are also a symptom of pelvic pain conditions.

You may also experience incomplete emptying if your bladder is compressed as a result of constipation, enlarged prostate, or a tumor. Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or stroke can create spasticity in muscle and make it difficult for muscles to relax or cause them to involuntarily contract. This may lead to urinary urgency sensations or leaking.

Some medications can cause urinary urgency. There are some medications which can increase your production of urine and others which cause muscle relaxation. Either way, you will feel a need to urinate frequently and sometimes urgently.

Lastly, urinary urgency could be the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. This is typically accompanied by other symptoms such as pressure, discomfort, and painful urination. Some individuals may also notice blood in their urine.


Behavioral training techniques and bladder retraining techniques can help you retrain your bladder for healthy habits. Removing or limiting bladder irritants and increasing water intake can help manage bladder irritation caused by bladder irritants.

If overactivity of your pelvic floor muscles are the problem, you can learn relaxation techniques form a pelvic floor physical therapist and also receive hands-on treatments to decrease tightness, spasm, and tension.

Katy and Morgan at The Fit Pelvis can help you find solutions to your urinary urgency concerns. Schedule a Discovery Call today to find out how pelvic floor PT can help.


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