If your bladder contracts without any warning it can give you an urgent need to pass urine. This gives you little or no time to get to the toilet. This is called urinary urgency. People who have this problem often need to pass urine more frequently (more than 8 times a day) and in small volumes. This is because the bladder often feels fuller than it actually is. It can also cause you to get up in the night to pass urine more than once.

If the contractions are large or the pelvic floor muscles are weak an overactive bladder can cause leakage of urine. This is called urge incontinence. It is often treated by simple lifestyle changes, bladder re-education, or medication.

There is another form of therapy using a bacterial toxin (Botox) which can help an overactive bladder. However, it is an invasive procedure involving injections into the bladder and is only performed as a last resort.

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