You get sudden urges to go
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a very common condition that affects 33 million Americans, according to the Urology Care Foundation of the American Urological Association. One of the classic overactive bladder symptoms is a sudden, uncontrollable urge to pee. “We spend our younger years learning how to have our brains control our bladder, letting us empty our bladders when it is socially acceptable,” says Aisha Khalali Taylor, MD, a urologist at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). “As we age as women, our bladders become defiant and start to want to overrule the brain, causing bladder contractions or spasms at times when it’s not socially acceptable.” Pregnancy and childbirth, as well as lower levels of estrogen after menopause, can contribute to OAB in women. And although OAB is more common with age, the Mayo Clinic says it should not be considered a “normal” part of aging. Here’s what your pee reveals about your health.
You have to pee all the time
Along with a sudden urge, you may feel like you have to pee constantly. This happens for one of two reasons: “Either the nerves that provide information about sensation [sensory nerves] receive, or think they receive, information about being full or irritated; or the nerves that send signals to the muscle of the bladder are too active, and the muscle contracts,” explains W. Thomas Gregory, MD, a urogynecologist at Oregon Heath & Science University (OHSU) in Portland. “Frequently” means eight or more times during the day, or two or more times a night, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Here are some other things your bladder is secretly trying to tell you.