Urgency (Urgent Need to Urinate)

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed: July 29, 2022

What is urinary urgency?

Urinary urgency is an immediate, unstoppable urge to urinate. Urinary urgency is a common side effect of treatment for prostate and gynecologic cancers. It can be a side effect of radiation therapy that involves the urinary bladder. During or soon after treatment, urinary frequency is caused by irritation or inflammation of the tissues in and around the bladder. Urinary urgency may also happen many years after treatment due to the buildup of scar tissue.

How is urinary urgency managed?

Urinary urgency may be managed by:

  • Strengthening of pelvic muscles (Kegel exercises).
  • Limiting how much fluid you drink. Talk to your care provider before doing this.
  • Medicines that relax or reduce bladder muscle spasms.

When should I contact my care provider?

Call your care provider if you are having problems with urinary urgency.


Canadian Cancer Society. Urinary incontinence. Found at: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/diagnosis-and-treatment/managing-side-effects/urinary-incontinence/?region=on

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Frequent or urgent urination. 2020. Found at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003140.htm


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