What is urinary urgency?

Urinary urgency is the sensation that the bladder must be emptied immediately. Urinary urgency can occasionally wake a person from sleep and is sometimes accompanied by urinary incontinence, or the loss of urine. Other symptoms that may accompany urinary urgency include bloody or pink-colored urine (hematuria); cloudy urine; difficulty urinating (dysuria); fever; foul-smelling urine; frequent urination; lower abdominal, pelvic or back pain; pain or burning with urination; and penile or vaginal discharge.

Urinary Tract Problems Spotlight

Urinary urgency can be caused by conditions affecting nearby structures, infection, inflammation, injury, irritation, kidney or bladder stones, nervous system abnormalities, and tumors. Irritation of the bladder and urethra can result from trauma or can be due to chemicals in soaps, spermicides, lubricants, bubble baths, or other substances. Inflammatory causes of urinary urgency include inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), prostate (prostatitis), or bladder (cystitis). Infections of the bladder or prostate and sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia, can also cause urinary urgency.

Conditions that can obstruct urine flow, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), kidney or bladder stones, and tumors of the bladder or urethra, can sometimes cause urinary urgency.

Overactive bladder syndrome and nervous system abnormalities, such as spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis (disease that affects the brain and spinal cord causing weakness, coordination, balance difficulties, and other problems), can be associated with abnormal bladder contractions and urgency.

Because urinary urgency that is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms may have a treatable cause, you should seek prompt medical care if you have urinary urgency.

Cancer, infections, and trauma can lead to life-threatening complications, including cancer spread, hemorrhage, and infections of the kidneys and bloodstream. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as change in level of consciousness; change in mental status; high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit); not producing any urine; severe abdominal, pelvic or back pain; severe nausea and vomiting; or uncontrolled or heavy bleeding.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with urinary urgency?

Urinary urgency may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the bladder, urethra or prostate may also involve other body systems.... Read more about urinary urgencysymptoms

CAUSES

What causes urinary urgency?

Urinary urgency can be caused by conditions affecting nearby structures, infection, inflammation, injury, irritation, kidney or bladder stones, nervous system abnormalities, and tumors.... Read more about urinary urgencycauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System


Popular Related Slide Show