Spasm is a sudden involuntary contraction or squeezing of muscles that may occur in any part of the body. Spasms may occur from time to time and usually doesn’t cause problems, but if they recur often, then it may be a sign of some health disorder.
A urethral spasm is a sudden contradiction of the urethra, which is described by the patients as an extreme urge to urinate. This urge may result in incontinence or leakage which is impossible to control or to stop, as muscles contraction push urine out. Bladder spasms usually have similar symptoms. Spasms may be accompanied by sharp pain. The severity of spasms varies from mild, almost unnoticeable contractions to violent cramps. Cramping pain is often accompanied by a burning sensation. Frequency may occur as a result of frequent spasms.
Spams are more common in elderly people and in women doing through menopause or pregnant women, but it may also occur in children. A number of disorders and conditions can lead to urethral spasm. Among the most common are the following:
- urinary tract or urethral infection;
- irritation caused by catheterization ;
- surgery involving urinary tract;
- weakness of pelvic muscles (in elderly people) or muscles damage;
- medications that are taken in order to force water from the body;
- some nervous disorders.
Medications for spasms treatment are prescribed only after revealing its underlying conditions. That’s why you should consult your doctor before starting to manage the symptoms on your own. Below are some of the possible treatments:
- medications such as butylscopolamine are prescribed if spasms are provoked by catheterization, surgery or other physical irritation;
- anticholinergic and spasm-relieving medications have proved to be effective in managing the symptoms. Anticholinergics relieve incontinence by increasing the amount of urine that can be hold in the bladder. Among these drugs are darifenacin, dicyclomine, flavoxate, hyoscyamine, methantheline, solifenacin, , and trospium chloride;
- if the reason of contraction is some infection or other urethral disorder, then the underlying conditions should be cured first of all. Antibiotics are normally prescribed for infection treatment;
- pelvic floor training (referred to as Kegel excercises) and physical therapy are performed to strengthen the muscles. Kegel exercises are rather simple: you just should strain the muscles as when trying to stop urination;
- electrical stimulation (TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is believed to increase blood flow and relieve muscles;
- timed voiding is especially effective for children. It is recommended to empty the bladder every 1-2 hour;
- anticholinergic medication are effective in reducing the symptoms, among them are oxybutynin and tolterodine;
- surgery is helpful in controlling spasms only if it cures some disorder that provokes the contraction.
- lifestyle changes: it is recommended to avoid spicy and citrusy foods, alcohol and caffeine and to lose weight in case of obesity.
Although it is rather difficult to prevent urethral spasms, you can eliminate them significantly be keeping all the doctors recommendations as for medications and lifestyle changes. In order to control the symptoms during the night, you should avoid taking fluids before going to bed.
These articles can be used for informational purposes only. To get an accurate diagnosis consult your doctor!
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