Stand-up urgency is a sudden need to urinate when getting up from a seated or reclined position. Treatment options include addressing underlying medical conditions and pelvic floor exercises.

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Multiple times every day, people experience urges to head to the bathroom. Some people feel this important cue more frequently than others.

For some people, feeling the need to urinate can be triggered by certain sounds, sights, and movements. When standing up causes a person to suddenly need to urinate, it’s called stand-up urgency. If they involuntarily release pee in response to these urges, it’s known as urge incontinence.

Learn more about incontinence.

Stand-up urgency is when a change in position triggers a person to feel the sudden need to urinate. For many people, getting up from a seated or reclining position can cause them to feel stand-up urgency.

The primary symptom of stand-up urgency is a sudden need to go to the bathroom when you stand.

Some people release a small amount of urine when they stand. This is called urge incontinence.

A healthcare professional may ask you to keep a journal and note when you need to urinate. This practice will help determine when these sensations are triggered. A doctor will likely ask when you experience stand-up urgency and how often.

If you experience incontinence along with urgency when you stand, your healthcare professional may also run diagnostic tests, such as:

Several strategies may help you stop stand-up urgency, such as:

Home remedies

Your healthcare professional may also talk with you about home remedies, such as:

  • quitting smoking if you smoke
  • drinking enough liquids
  • choosing when you drink liquids
  • scheduling regular bathroom breaks
  • ways to avoid constipation

Medical treatment

If you have other health conditions, like urinary tract infections or diabetes, contributing to bladder control difficulties, your healthcare professional may offer advice to improve stand-up urgency symptoms.

If are experiencing incontinence, a doctor may prescribe treatment options, such as:

Stand-up urgency may cause mental stress or embarrassment. If you have related bladder incontinence, stand-up urgency can affect your exercise, sleep, and ability to engage in intimacy.

If you have stand-up urgency and find that it’s adversely impacting your mental health or quality of life, talk with a healthcare professional or a therapist. They can offer resources and other helpful tools.

People are more likely to experience incontinence if they:

  • have obesity or overweight
  • are identified as female at birth
  • are experiencing a blocked urinary tract or bladder infection
  • are pregnant or have given birth
  • are older
  • have diabetes
  • cough frequently
  • experience frequent constipation
  • are born with a birth irregularity that affects their kidneys and bladder

The outlook for people with stand-up urgency depends on underlying causes and risk factors for incontinence.

People with urinary incontinence are at a greater risk for other bladder issues, including urinary retention and dribbling urine after going to the bathroom.

Besides changes in position, what can trigger the need to urinate?

The need to urinate can be triggered by:

  • stress
  • trauma
  • kidney and bladder infections
  • nerve damage
  • medications
  • drinking certain fluids

How frequently should you expect to feel the need to urinate?

It’s usual for adults to urinate between 2 and 10 times a day. How frequently you feel the need to urinate depends on the rate at which your kidneys produce urine and the size of your bladder.

Should I talk with a special doctor if I experience stand-up urgency?

In many cases, talking with your general physician is the first step in getting help for stand-up urgency. Gynecologists, urologists, and geriatricians also frequently address incontinence and urinary concerns.

Standing up from a reclining or seated position may cause some people to suddenly feel an urge to urinate. Although this is not necessarily a sign of a serious health problem, it can be stressful.

If you’re experiencing stand-up urgency, talk with your healthcare professional. They can rule out other underlying health complications that may respond to treatment, help identify remedies you can do at home, and offer treatment options.