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Common Bladder Problems

Dictionary of bladder problem terms

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Dysuria: Pain on passing urine

Frequency: When a person feels that they are passing urine too frequently, usually more than 8 times a day

Functional incontinence: This occurs in individuals who are unable to access the toilet due to impaired mobility, intellect / awareness and vision and is often seen in people with dementia. The person may have a bladder and bowel that functions normally, but has lost the ability to recognise the need for the toilet or how to find it.

Haematuria (blood in the urine): This can be due to infection in the urinary tract but may also indicate other conditions such as bladder or kidney stones, prostate problems and a tumour . The urine may be visibly stained red or brown, but a small amount of blood may not discolour the urine and only be detected upon testing. Blood in the urine must not be ignored and it is very important to see your healthcare professional for investigations.

Incomplete emptying: The bladder remains partly full after passing urine. This is known as a “post micturition residual volume” and can result in a full bladder feeling or overflow incontinence. Overflow incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine associated with over filling of the bladder. This happens when the bladder retains too much urine and its holding capacity becomes overwhelmed, resulting in continuous or intermittent leakage of a small amount of urine.

Mixed urinary incontinence: The term used to describe leakage of urine with urgency and also with exertion, for example coughing, sneezing or walking.

Nocturia: Having to get up to pass urine at night more than once. This is a common problem amongst older people.

Nocturnal enuresis: The involuntary passing of urine in adults that occurs during sleep.

Overactive bladder: This is the term used to describe urgency with or without urinary incontinence, usually with frequency and nocturia.

Stress incontinence: Leakage of urine on effort or exertion, for example coughing, sneezing or walking.

Urge incontinence: Leakage of urine accompanied by an urgent desire to pass urine which cannot be controlled.

Urgency: The sudden and urgent desire to pass urine.

If you think you may have any of these bladder problems, seek professional help. See links below for more information:


New Customers: 0800 585 125
Existing Customers: 0800 318 965

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