The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.
Understanding why you have the urge to go
You may know the feeling—a strong, sudden urge to urinate during the day and night, even when you have only a little bit of urine in your bladder, and a difficulty holding your urine until you get to the bathroom. Occasional frequent urinary urgency is very common as you get older, particularly for women.
There are many physiological stressors that can contribute to the occasional frequent urge to go—from unmanaged or undermanaged stress, to constipation (and lack of fiber in diet), weight change, weak pelvic floor muscles, among many other causes. First, it is important to check with your physician to rule out any serious medical conditions or infections. While waiting to see your doctor I recommend you do the following as soon as you experience feelings of occasional frequent urgency.
1.) Keep a journal
Start using a journal to track the amount of fluid you drink, how often you go to the bathroom and the volume of your urine. This will help your doctor diagnose why you feel occasional frequent urinary urgency. This involves recording:
- How much you drink
- What fluids you are drinking
- How often you go to the bathroom and how often you experience an urge to go (be specific about times of day)
- If possible, how much urine you pee each time
- What medications you take
- Symptoms of urinary tract infections such as pain with urinating or difficulty urinating
- Any other health-related symptoms you may experience, such as fatigue
2.) Pay attention to WHEN you’re taking a drink
Avoid drinking all fluids two hours before bedtime. Reduce your intake of caffeine after 4p.m., as well as alcohol (especially after 7p.m., assuming a sleep time of 10:30p.m.).
3.) Time your medications (if your doctor agrees)
Talk to your doctor about the best time to take your medication to see if you should avoid taking them before bedtime.
Some medications are known to cause increased urine production include digitalis, a tetracycline called demeclocycline, lithium, phenytoin (Dilantin), diuretics such as hydrothiazide or furosemide (Lasix), anti-inflammatory over-the-counter meds and certain supplements, such as those containing celery root.
4.) Start a stress management program
Try introducing stress management techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to your daily routine. It is recommended to practice a stress management program for at least 5 minutes in the morning and at night. Since unmanaged stress is a major cause of occasional frequent urinary urgency, this may help reduce instances.
5.) Take a supplement
Consider taking a safe, drug-free supplement, like AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less®, which is formulated with pumpkin seed extract and soy germ extract to help support healthy bladder control.*
6.) Practice Kegel exercises
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again—starting a routine of Kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles can help reduce your bladder’s involuntary contractions. It may take six to eight weeks before you notice an effect.
7.) Re-train your bladder
Start keeping track of when you use the bathroom to understand how often you go and how much time there is in-between. From there you can find a comfortable interval for bathroom breaks that you can adjust as you go.
This may help with gradually building up the amount of time you can wait to go to the bathroom when you need to urinate, allowing you to gradually increase the time between breaks. When you feel yourself needing to go before your set interval try doing Kegels. Your end goal is to get your bladder back in a routine that does not constantly interrupt your day.
8.) Manage your weight
Carrying extra weight can place additional pressure on the bladder, disrupting the muscles that help with bladder control, so healthy weight management can help address the problem. AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® & Weight Management is specially formulated with clinically studied Synetrim® CQ from the Cissus quadrangularis plant to support serotonin balance, helping promote metabolic health to support healthy weight management.*
Occasional frequent urgency can interfere with a number of your daily activities in many ways, like interrupting quality sleep and the need to drop everything and race to the bathroom. If you experience occasional bladder control loss, even if it's only a little leak, it can be embarrassing. These lifestyle changes can help you control the urge to go. The good news is that when most women and men follow the steps above, and discuss options with their doctors, they can find ways to restore urinary control.
Feel free to send questions to Dr. Roizen at AgeProoflife@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @YoungDrMike and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week.
About Dr. Mike Roizen:
Dr. Mike Roizen MD, a paid spokesperson for AZO, is the first Chief Wellness Officer at any major health care institution. He is a professor at the Cleveland Clinic Learner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He founded RealAge (RealAge.com), co-invented a drug now approved by the FDA, helped start 12 other companies and co-authored 9 books on health including four NY Times #1 bestsellers on health. He also has chaired an FDA advisory committee and was an editor for 6 medical journals.
AZO Bladder Control®is a trademark of DSM.
Go-Less® is a registered trademark of Frutarom.
Synetrim® CQ is a trademark of Icon Group, LLC and is protected under U.S. Patent 7,175,859.