Sudden Urgency to Urinate Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your sudden urgency to urinate symptoms, including 9 causes and common questions.

  1. 9 Possible Sudden Urgency To Urinate Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. FAQ
  4. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  5. Statistics
  6. Related Articles

9 Possible Sudden Urgency To Urinate Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced sudden urgency to urinate. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Urinary tract infections are usually caused by infections by fecal bacteria.

Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain with urination (dysuria), ...

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Symptoms of menopause

Menopause is the name for the natural process by which the menstrual cycle (period) stops happening in a woman. Usually, the process is gradual (takes months or years) and occurs from the age of 45 to 55 years. Menopause is officially diagnosed once a woman stops having a period for 12 months continuously. A woman with menopause will notice a decrease in the number and regularity of her periods until they completely stop. In addition, she may notice a number of symptoms that occur as a result of decreased estrogen levels, such as hot flashes, changes in mood, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, changes in libido, and changes in sexual function. Certain medications exist that can decrease these symptoms.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, delay in or irregular periods, vaginal discharge, anxiety, trouble sleeping

Symptoms that always occur with symptoms of menopause: delay in or irregular periods

Urgency: Self-treatment

Yeast infection

Yeast infections are due to alterations in the balance of microscopic organisms in the vulvar and vaginal regions. The term "yeast infection" is most commonly used to describe symptoms caused by the fungus Candida albicans.

Symptoms include itching of the vaginal and vulva, burning, redness...

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Benign prostatic hypertrophy (bph)

The prostate is a gland in men that helps produce semen, the fluid that contains sperm. Over many years, the cells of this gland have a tendency to become enlarged (or hypertrophy). Fortunately, this enlargement is not itself dangerous. As the name “benign” implies, BPH is not prostate cancer and does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, BPH is rarely harmful, usually more of an inconvenience than anything else.

The problems it does cause result from compression of the urethra, which passes through the prostate as it carries urine out of the body. An enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine making it difficult to empty the bladder, which in turn leads to frequent urination and nighttime awakening to urinate.

BPH is a chronic, progressive disease, meaning that the symptoms are mild at first and slowly get worse over many years. Serious complications can occur when there is significant obstruction of the urinary tract, though this is relatively uncommon.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: sudden urgency to urinate, waking up regularly to pee at night, frequent urination, constant but weak urination stream, feeling of not getting everything out when urinating

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Sudden Urgency To Urinate Symptom Checker

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Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)

Painful bladder syndrome, also called interstitial cystitis or IC, is a chronic condition of pain and discomfort in the urinary system.

The cause is unknown. It may be an autoimmune disorder and is often found with fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, or vulvodynia (pain in the outer female organs.) Some researchers feel the condition may be linked to a history of abuse.

Painful bladder syndrome is more common in women than in men, but can happen to anyone.

Symptoms vary and may include pressure and discomfort in the lower abdomen; pain during sexual intercourse; bladder pain; and a frequent urge to urinate.

A medical provider should be seen for these symptoms, because painful bladder syndrome can interfere with quality of life and lead to depression.

Diagnosis is made through patient history; physical examination; blood and urine tests; and sometimes cystoscopy. Women may have a pelvic examination and men may have a digital rectal examination.

There is no cure specifically for painful bladder syndrome, so treatment involves addressing the symptoms and making lifestyle changes.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood, pelvis pain, arthralgias or myalgias

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes, because it is the result of lifestyle and is not hereditary. Diabetes of any type is the condition where the body does not produce enough insulin to process the sugars in food.

Risk factors include obesity, overeating high-carbohydrate foods, lack of exercise, pregnancy, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS.)

Early symptoms include increased thirst; frequent urination; weight loss despite increased appetite; blurred vision; infections that are slow to heal; and blood sugar somewhat higher than normal.

It is important to get treatment at the first sign of these symptoms, because the high blood sugar levels can cause serious organ damage. Heart disease, neuropathy, kidney damage, and blindness can all result from untreated diabetes.

Diagnosis is made through a series of blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed through lifestyle changes. A diet which eliminates refined carbohydrates and controls calories; regular exercise; regular blood sugar monitoring; and sometimes insulin or other medications will all be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, increased appetite compared to normal, vision changes, feeling itchy or tingling all over, excesive thirst

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Overactive thyroid

The thyroid is a small, bow-tie shaped gland in your neck. Its main job is to produce thyroid hormone (known as T3 or T4), which serves a wide array of functions throughout the body.

When too much thyroid hormone is released, the body’s metabolism gets ramped up, causing symptoms ...

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Bladder cancer

The bladder is a hollow organ with a muscular wall that stores urine until it is passed from the body. Bladder cancer refers to the out of control growth of cells within the lining of the urinary bladder. It is the sixth most common cancer among adults in the U.S.

Initial symptoms include bloo...

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Prostate neoplasm

The prostate gland sits under the bladder, near the rectum (end of the large intestine), and it makes the fluid that carries sperm. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States. It is different from other cancers because small areas of cancer within the prostate are actually very common, especially in older men.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: frequent urination, waking up regularly to pee at night, painful urination, constant but weak urination stream, feeling of not getting everything out when urinating

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Real-life Stories

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FAQs About Sudden Urgency To Urinate

Here are some frequently asked questions about a sudden urgency to urinate.

Will pregnancy cause a sudden urge to urinate?

Yes, pregnancy commonly causes an increase in urinary frequency and urgency. This is partly due to an increase in the hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin during pregnancy. Your body's total fluid level also increases during pregnancy, which causes your kidneys to produce more urine. Finally, the growing baby inside your uterus can compress your bladder during the third trimester to further increase urinary urgency.

Why do I have a sudden urgency to urinate during sex?

Urinary urgency or even leakage during sex can be a common issue, especially among women. Sexual intercourse can place pressure on a woman's bladder or urethra which can lead to urine leakage. This may also occur during orgasm due to contractions of the pelvic muscles.

Why do I have a sudden urge to urinate at night?

Increased urination at night, or nocturnal polyuria, can be caused by a number of lifestyle habits such as excess fluid intake or consumption of diuretics such as caffeine. Nocturnal urgency may also be caused by medical conditions such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and medications such as diuretics.

Why can I not hold my urine?

An inability to hold urine can be caused by urge, overflow, or stress urinary incontinence. In urge incontinence, the bladder muscle involuntarily contracts, pushing urine out through the urethra. In overflow incontinence, the urethra is blocked and urine may dribble out slowly due to the increased pressure building up in the bladder. In stress incontinence, unintentional urine loss occurs with activities such as coughing or laughing that cause an increase in abdominal pressure. It occurs more commonly in patients with weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Why do I feel like I need to pee after I pee?

If you feel a constant urge to urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Other symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning with urination, passing only a small amount of urine when you have a strong urge to urinate, and aching in your lower abdomen.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sudden Urgency To Urinate

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Are you sexually active?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Sudden Urgency To Urinate Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your sudden urgency to urinate

Sudden Urgency To Urinate Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced sudden urgency to urinate have also experienced:

  • 7% Painful Urination
  • 5% Vaginal Discharge
  • 4% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)

People who have experienced sudden urgency to urinate were most often matched with:

  • 50% Urinary Tract Infection
  • 25% Symptoms Of Menopause
  • 25% Yeast Infection

People who have experienced sudden urgency to urinate had symptoms persist for:

  • 30% Less than a week
  • 23% Less than a day
  • 23% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Sudden Urgency To Urinate Symptom Checker

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