Many women experience lower urinary tract symptoms such as increased daytime frequency of micturition (passing water), urgency, urge incontinence and stress incontinence, and increased night time frequency. Urinary symptoms can be variable in terms of severity and the effect on quality of life. Pregnancy and childbirth, increasing age and menopause predispose to urinary problems.
Increased urinary frequency is when a person has to go to the toilet to empty their bladder more frequently than normal. This could be a result of producing more urine (drinking more fluids and conditions such as diabetes) or instability of the bladder muscles. It could also be due to bladder infection (cystitis).
The most common cause of urinary frequency is an overactive bladder (OAB) with one or more of other symptoms of urgency, urge incontinence and night time urinary frequency. Management of overactive bladder includes bladder retraining and drugs such solifenacin, tolterodine and mirabegron.
When there is an unintentional leakage of urine and may have a profound effect on the quality of life.
There are several types of urinary incontinence, including:
stress incontinence when urine leaks when the bladder is under pressure, for example, when coughing or laughing
urge incontinence when urine leaks with a sudden, intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
overflow incontinence when the bladder is not emptied completely and urine overflows as a leak
mixed incontinence when there are features of both stress and urge urinary incontinence