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What Is A Bladder Spasm?

What’s A Bladder Spasm?

Have you heard of the term bladder spasm?  If you have an overactive bladder (OAB) or incontinence, it’s likely that you have experienced them.

Bladder spasms are when the bladder muscle squeezes suddenly, without warning, making you feel like you need to empty your bladder immediately.  This is one of the hallmark symptoms of Overactive Bladder – the urgent and frequent needs to urinate, and can sometimes also result in urge incontinence if you’re unable to make it to the bathroom in time.

Why does my bladder spasm?

Bladder spasms may have several different causes. As mentioned above, people with OAB typically experience bladder spasms. Urinary tract infections and irritation from using a catheter are also common culprits. And, people with a neurological disorder, such as MS or a spinal cord injury, may experience bladder spasms.

If you have recently had a hysterectomy, you may also experience bladder spasms initially. These usually improve after a few weeks, but talk to your doctor if you have any painful sensations or you don’t see a reduction in them after several weeks.

What do bladder spasms feel like?

Bladder spasms may not feel like anything except an urgent need to empty your bladder. But some people have reported that they feel like a cramping or burning sensation. Bladder spasms can be painful for some people.

Are bladder spasms dangerous?

Bladder spasms aren’t dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable, and may cause embarrassing leaks when you’re unable to make it to the bathroom in time.

Those who experience regular bladder leaks may find themselves limiting the things they used to do, for fear of having an accident in public. This can lead to a reduced quality of life for many people, and may even lead to depression.

Can you stop bladder spasms naturally?

There are certain steps you can take to relieve the discomfort of bladder spams, and prevent leaks.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to drink extra water if you’re experiencing leaks, this can actually help you in the long run, since concentrated urine can be irritating to your bladder. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure that bladder irritation is kept at bay.

A change in diet may also help relieve bladder spasms if your spasms are being caused by certain foods that you are eating. Keeping a bladder diary for a few days can help identify food or drink triggers. (Get a free downloadable diary here!)

If you’re experiencing discomfort, try using a heating pad to relieve some of the pain from bladder spasms.

If you are experiencing leaks due to bladder spasms, you can also try incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine. These exercise, known as kegels, can help improve the muscle strength of the pelvic floor, making it easier for you to hold urine until you get to a bathroom when the urge strikes.

Treatment for bladder spasm

It’s natural for anyone experiencing bladder spasms to want to know how to stop them. Luckily there are many treatment options, including the natural options listed above, which are available to you.


There are many oral medications for bladder spasms. These work by relaxing the bladder muscle and help prevent bladder leaks. (Learn about different medications for OAB here.)


Not just for wrinkles, Botox can be used for an overactive bladder too. Your doctor can inject Botox into the bladder muscle, helping it to relax and reducing the urgent need to urinate and reducing unwanted bladder leaks.

Nerve stimulation

Electrical stimulation implants deliver mild electrical pulses to the bladder to help control bladder spasms. These devices can be administered by your doctor in an easy outpatient procedure and may help to alleviate bladder spasms and leaks.

If you’re experiencing bladder spasms, talk to your doctor about ways you can treat them.

Need help finding a specialist? Click here to use our doctor finder!


One Response

  1. I have had a Medtronic InterStim implant since March 16 2016 with no appreciable relief from OAB.because of impedance I now have the new Interstim which enables an MRI to be done if needed.

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