Read below about sudden urgency to urinate, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your sudden urgency to urinate from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Sudden Urgency to Urinate

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced sudden urgency to urinate. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    Symptoms most often go away within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes
    Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection:
    signs of urinary tract inflammation
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Symptoms of Menopause

    Menopause is the point in life where your period stops. This happens when the ovaries stop making hormones that keep your cycle going. The transition into menopause is called peri-menopause and can include symptoms like hot flashes, shortening of menstrual cycle and mood fluctuations.

    Hot flashes typically peak approximately 1 year after the final period and last 4-10 years. Most women stop having hot flashes 4 years after they start, but 10% of women may have hot flashes up to 12 years after their last period.

    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
  3. 3.Yeast Infection

    Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called "Candida." Candida is the scientific name for yeast that lives almost everywhere, including in the human body. Typically, our immune system keeps it under control, but if you take antibiotics or gets sick, the fungus can multiply and cause an infection. In this case, it is happening in the vagina.

    50% of women have relapses within 2 months, and 9% have more than 4 episodes per year. For those, maintenance therapy is possible.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, white/gray vaginal discharge, thick vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, vulvovaginal redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (Bph)

    The prostate is a gland in men. It helps make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. The prostate surrounds the tube that carries urine out of the body. As men age, their prostate grows bigger. If it gets too large, it can cause problems. An enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Most men will get BPH as they get older. Symptoms often start after age 50.

    This is a chronic condition but can be well controlled with medication.

    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

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  5. 5.Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

    Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis (IC), is a chronic condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. The cause of this condition is not very clear and it is usually diagnosed when other causes like urinary tract infections are excluded.

    Chronic disease whose progression varies highly from person to person. Symptoms may persist for years.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood, pelvis pain, arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Type 2 Diabetes

    Diabetes causes that blood glucose (blood sugar) levels to become high. With Type II Diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin efficiently. Insulin is necessary to metabolize glucose.

    Type II Diabetes is a life-long condition but can be well managed.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, increased appetite compared to normal, vision changes, feeling itchy or tingling all over, excesive thirst
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    Great prognosis with high remission rates

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Bladder Cancer

    The bladder is a hollow organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Bladder cancer, which occurs in the lining of the bladder, is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States.

    Your outcome is dependent on the extent of the disease.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), constipation, pelvis pain, side pain, frequent urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.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.

    Variable but generally very good outlook, especially compared with other cancers.

    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

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

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

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our sudden urgency to urinate symptom checker to find out more.

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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 had symptoms persist for:

    • 30% Less Than a Week
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced sudden urgency to urinate were most often matched with:

    • 50% Urinary Tract Infection
    • 25% Symptoms of Menopause
    • 25% Yeast Infection
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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