Bladder Spasms - Describe the Feeling

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What Do Bladder Spasms Feel Like?

Normally, the bladder gently fills with urine and you slowly become aware of the need to urinate. This feeling is your cue to start looking for a bathroom.

But in people who have bladder spasms, the sensation occurs suddenly and often severely. A spasm itself is the sudden, involuntary squeezing of a muscle. A bladder spasm, or "detrusor contraction," occurs when the bladder muscle squeezes suddenly without warning, causing an urgent need to release urine. The spasm can force urine from the bladder, causing leakage. When this happens, the condition is called urge incontinence or overactive bladder.

People who have had such spasms describe them as a cramping pain and sometimes as a burning sensation. Some women with severe bladder spasms compared the muscle contractions to severe menstrual cramps and even labor pains experienced during childbirth.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Isabella, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

First I have a severe, urgent need to urinate, but little to no urine is excreted. I have severe pain in my vaginal area up to my lower abdomen which lasts approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute, it feels like a hot poker is being inserted, then the pain gradually decreases. I never know when they're going to start or when they will end, sometimes I am debilitated for hours to 2 or 3 days.

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Comment from: DS7469LS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I have bladder spasms from time to time. The first time I had them the pain seemed mostly in the urethral opening. It felt like I was being stabbed. I tested negative for any urinary tract infections. The episode lasted several weeks. This current episode is much worse. The spasms are very similar to labor pains; in intensity, duration and timing. At the height of the spasm urine is squeezed out. Over the counter medicines such as Azo have given me more relief than any prescription my urologist has given me.

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