Urgency to pee

I have been having an increased urgency to pee in the last 2 months or so. I’ve had MS for 5 or so years so this is fairly new. I had a UTI around this time this started but have since been treated for than and given the all clear. However I still have an urgency to pee. I have had one accident when I just couldn’t make the loo in time ( I was driving at the time). The sudden urge doesn’t happen in a flash so I know I need to go with plenty of warning but I just can’t hold the urge as long as I used to.

Is this a common MS symptom?

Hello Douglas

Yes, I’m afraid it is very common. Sometimes it’s as a result of spasms in the bladder that causes an increase in urgency. Sometimes a lurking UTI after you think it’s cleared, sometimes just weakness of the sphincters.

You could be referred to the bladder and bowel service by your GP or MS nurse, or apparently you can refer yourself. They’ll be able to check your bladder with an ultrasound scanner, to see how much urine you are retaining. Lack of emptying fully can be another cause of a frequent need to wee and is often coupled with urgency.

There are drugs you can take to help with bladder urgency, the one most people seem to like best is called Betmiga, there is another which is frequently prescribed called Oxybutinin, but is known now to increase brain shrinkage in later life, so it’s not perhaps the best drug. There are others, Vesicare and Tolterodine, I suspect it’s a very individual thing, some drugs suit one person but not another.

Best of luck getting yours sorted out.


Hi Douglas Sue is right it is MS. Had the same problem which caused me massive problems when outside and finished up with a major relapse before I got help. The advice from the GP I saw was not very good. Ring your surgery and ask for the number of the incontinent nurse, he or she will come in a few days to your home, they are very good. Ask you the problem tell you to go and empty your bladder and put a mobile scanner on your tummy and tell you have still got at least a couple of pints of liquid inside. You will need to self catheter, it is not a big deal, once you get organised and used to it and does not hurt and you do not need a bag or anything like that. Most common ones for men are Coloplast 28212 for in the house and 28922 which I use it outside, as it fits in your jacket pocket or the back pocket of your jeans. Been using them for years Never had a disaster since and your tummy will reduce as you are not walking about with a load of liquid inside it. May be wrong but doubt it. Take action now unlike me. Bertie

Hi Douglas

If the scan that Berie mentioned shows you can fully empty your bladder, so the issue is only urgency, then something that could be a godsend is a sheath and leg bag. The sheath is like a condom, which then attaches to a small bag that you strap to your leg. It means that, if you get caught short, your pee will safely go into the leg bag. If you ever have problems during the night, you can get larger bags to attach the sheath to. When started using this, it made such a huge difference to my life. It meant I was able to go out without worry. The continence nurse will be able to set you up with it.

Hope that helps


Have you tried pelvic floor exercises.

If only the muscles in my pelvic floor were still functioning. I’d love to be able to exercise them again!

Oh god me too. What is a pelvic floor anyway? I suspect mine is the basement.


The truth is that with MS, many of us have trouble with bladders. Sometimes it’s an inability to start, sometimes severe urgency, or it could be an inability to close the sphincters off, or you may have trouble fully emptying.

The first step is to talk about it. Preferably with a bladder specialist nurse (rather than some random person at the bus stop). Get them to scan your bladder, it’s done when your bladder is full (is you can hold it), and again when emptied as much as possible.

Depending on what’s causing your trouble, the answer could be drugs, or pads, or intermittent self catheterisation, or a sheath & leg bag system. Or in fact some form of indwelling catheter (Foley or Supra Pubic) with either a leg bag or a flip flow valve (so you can empty it almost like it’s opening a tap).

Obviously improving muscle tone (pelvic floor), helps. But many of us can’t do that.

Whatever is your problem, hopefully a solution isn’t too far away.


Unfortunately it Douglas, I have been using single use urinary catheters for years on advice of a Urologist.

Hi Douglas et al

Fantastic thread. I suspect that it is a thread that has a very large audience.

Here’s my contribution

RRMS dx 2012. I first experienced a poo accident in 2014. I am now self diagnosed with urge incontinence. For me it’s very manageable. I can control both wee & poo most of the time. But like Douglas I get a warning and to explain I know I need to go but I sometimes don’t get enough time before I do go. I’m luckier than many as the shortest warning I’ve had to date was still 30 seconds.

Everyone’s MS journey is different but many have similarities

Well done Douglas for starting this very personal thread and I hope my contribution is helpful and useful to others

Do what you can while you can



Hello Wien

I have posed on this already, which Catheters do you use, I am fairly happy with mine but like to look at other options for a change.

Perhaps you have an updated model

Hope you do not mine me asking



Also Douglas have you made any progress ?

I use Lofric catheters Bertie I use up to 5 a day as I have a propensity to kidney stones so have been told to flush them out regularly.

Thanks Wien

Good to see an alternative to Coloplast

Must admit I use more than you do, I need to cut down on the drinking although, I did read that the worse think you can do if you have a bladder problem is to stop drinking liquid, especially water.

I am happy and will not change my habits.

Thank you