Health Questions and Answers

Question: Define urge incontinence. What causes it?


Urge incontinence is the involuntary loss of larger volumes of urine due to the inability to delay voiding when the sensation of bladder fullness (urge) is perceived. Causes include detrusor motor and/or sensory instability, either alone or in combination with one of the following:
 1. Local GU conditions such as cystitis, urethritis, tumors, stones, diverticula, and outflow 
 2. CNS disorders such as stroke, dementia, parkinsonism, and suprasacral spinal cord
     injury or disease

Reference: Gallo JJ, et al (eds): Reichel’s Care of the Elderly, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999.

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