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Urgency, frequency in 11-year-old boy

Posted by Jim on April 22, 1999 at 14:55:56
My 11-year-old son experiences frequency and urgency of urination. It seems to have gotten worse recently -- his teacher mentioned to me that he goes to the restroom frequently during school hours, and he often complains of urgency at other times.  I haven't kept count of how often he visits the restroom.  He seems to be very healthy -- plays sports, etc. He has no evidence of bleeding or discharge of any kind, and no sign of injury.  He has complained about having to visit the restroom often during school hours and routinely complains about "having to go" when travelling in the car, etc. He often shows signs of urgency. My question is, do his symptoms warrant a visit to a urologist? Our pediatrician tends to minimize just about everything and probably won't recommend a specialist.

Posted by HFHS M.D.-AK on April 22, 1999 at 20:37:51
Dear Jim,
First I would keep a voiding log.  This means keep tract of the number of times your child voids in a 24 hr period, then you will know what your dealing with.
Voiding dysfunction can range from mild frequency or burning with urination to severe day and nighttime incontinence.  Most common is an unstable bladder.  This can start anytime during childhood.  The bladder is hyperactive and tries to empty frequently, often without warning.  The child may need to run to the bathroom or kneel down until the urge to urinate passes.  This problem may in some cases be related to urinary tract infections, constipation, stress at home or the use of too much caffeine.  In most cases the problem improves with time although it can be treated it accidents occur.
There is also a syndrome know as the frequency -urgency syndrome of childhood.  Some children(mostly boys) develop a sudden problem with needing to go to the bathroom as often as every ten minutes.  These children were fine prior to developing this problem.  They often sleep through the night without wetting the bed, and the problem tends to go away on its own.  However it may last as long as months or even years.
If you are very concerned, I would make sure your child doesn
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