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Why Do I Suddenly Have a Weak Bladder?

If you’re suddenly peeing more often, or you have the urge to pee more than you remember, you may be wondering: Why do I have a sudden weak bladder?

If you have:1

  • sudden urges to urinate
  • urges that are hard to control
  • the need to pass urine many times during the day and night
  • accidental loss of urine, called urgency incontinence

You may have a condition called overactive bladder, or OAB. Let’s explore your sudden weak bladder.

What is a Weak Bladder?

Sometimes called a weak bladder, an overactive bladder is generally when you have to pee 8 or more times in 24 hours, or when you wake up more than twice a night to urinate.1 

Another symptom of OAB is leaking urine. This is known as urgency urinary incontinence, which is slightly different from stress urinary incontinence. Urge incontinence is when you have that sudden, urgent need to pee, and you accidentally leak urine before you make it to the bathroom.2

Or, you may experience an increased need to urinate but when you do, you only pee a few drops or a slight trickle. Overactive bladder, OAB is a condition that is actually quite prevalent as you age; particularly for women.3

A study of 10,000 individuals in Europe found that 43% of women over the age of 40 had symptoms of OAB, and symptoms were more severe at an older age.4 However, OAB is not a typical part of aging.1 There could be an underlying condition causing your sudden weak bladder. That makes it important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. 

What Causes Sudden Weak Bladder?

Here are some of the possible reasons that you suddenly have a weak or overactive bladder.3

1. Pregnancy: Changes in hormones and physical changes to the body can alter the function of the bladder. 

2. Urinary tract infection (UTI): A UTI is caused when bacteria enters and affects part of the urinary tract, and it can increase the urgency and frequency of urination.

3. Hormonal changes: As women age and move into menopause, their body produces less estrogen. This in turn can result in weakened muscles that minimize the amount of support to the bladder and the urethra. That might lead to an increased urge to urinate.

4. Medications: Some medicine, like diuretics, lead to an increased need to pee.

5. Other conditions: There could be another underlying condition causing a weak bladder, such as excessive weight, nerve damage, diabetes or bladder stones.

What Can I Do About a Sudden Weak Bladder?

A sudden weak bladder can impact your quality of life, and could point to an underlying condition that needs to be examined. It’s important to see a healthcare professional because there are treatments that might help.

Here are a few. 

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Also known as Kegels, these exercises can strengthen the muscles that support your urinary system, and improve symptoms of OAB and incontinence.2 In fact, pelvic floor exercises are proven to help keep these muscles “fit,” and can be used as treatment for other conditions too, like prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. They can also be done as a preventative measure before problems arise. 

But it’s important to make sure you are targeting and using the correct muscles. A tool like the INNOVO Urinary Incontinence Kit, helps you perform Kegel exercises properly, in short 30-minute sessions.  Subscribe to the INNOVO newsletter to receive a $20 discount code for your purchase.

It’s also important to make sure your condition is not caused by pelvic floor muscles that spasm or have excess tension. In this case, Kegels could make overactive bladder worse and it would be better to see a pelvic floor physical therapist to learn how to relax and coordinate the muscles.2

Behavioral Therapies

A pelvic floor occupational therapist may help you with this treatment plan. For instance, bladder training can gradually increase the time between urination; scheduled toilet trips provide a schedule to help retrain the bladder; and fluid management may reduce the frequency of urination. Lifestyle changes may help too, like avoiding caffeine and alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.3


There are some medications for bladder control. Your doctor may recommend a medicine or a botox injection to relax your overactive bladder. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Ask Your Doctor 

If you suddenly have a weak bladder, or have bladder issues like an overactive bladder or urinary incontinence, use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you with expertise in women’s health who can help. It’s important to seek diagnosis to rule out underlying conditions like a UTI. Once diagnosed, there are effective treatments available for your bladder control problems.

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