Gaining Control of Urinary Urgency/Frequency

Urinary urgency is the sudden, strong feeling of needing to void or empty the bladder immediately that may result in urine leakage on the way to the bathroom. Frequency, defined as voiding more than 8 times in a 24 hour period, often accompanies urgency.

When you experience a strong urge to urinate:

  1. Urge Feeling. Stop activity, stand quietly or sit down. Try to stay very still to maintain control. Avoid rushing to the toilet as quick movement jiggles the bladder and increases the feeling of urgency.
  2. Stop and be still. Begin pelvic floor contractions. Contract your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing and letting go 5 times (these should be quick contractions with full relaxation after each squeeze). Pelvic floor contractions send a message to the bladder to relax and hold urine. Try to distract yourself by thinking of something other than going to the bathroom.
  3. Do not rush to the toilet. Relax. Do not rush to the toilet. Take 5-6 deep belly or diaphragmatic breaths and exhale slowly. Let the urge to urinate pass by using distraction techniques and positive thoughts.
  4. Think positively. Distract yourself. If the urge returns, repeat the above steps to regain control. When you feel the urge subside, walk normally to the bathroom. You can urinate once the urge has subsided.

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