Frequent urination

Frequent urination, or micturition, (also called frequency) means having an urge to pass urine more often than usual. In some cases, the frequency of bathroom visits can disrupt one's normal routine. Frequent urination at night (also called nocturia) can interrupt your sleep cycle and increase the risk of accidents related to excessive tiredness. When it starts to be a problem is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition.

It is normal to urinate between 6 and 7 times over a 24-hour period. If you urinate more than 7 times in a day or every hour while drinking about 2 litres of water you might have frequent urination.

Sometimes you can observe that you urinate a lot even if you do not drink anything or you still have to pee after peeing.

Children have smaller urinary bladders, so it is normal for them to urinate more frequently.

Causes of frequent urination

Quite often frequent urination is a sign of excessive production of urine by the kidneys. The most common reason is drinking many fluids, especially if they contain caffeine or alcohol. Frequent urination can also develop as a habit.

However, it can be a sign of kidney problems, or another medical condition, such as:

  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetes insipidus
  • pregnancy
  • Prostate gland problems.

Other causes or related factors may include:

  • food and drinks that act as diuretics
  • diuretics, such as chlorothiazide, that make you urinate fluid from your body
  • urinary tract infection
  • interstitial cystitis, a type of inflammation of the bladder wall
  • overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome, which causes involuntary bladder contractions that lead one to feel a sudden urge to urinate
  • bladder cancer
  • bladder or kidney stones
  • urethral stricture
  • colon diverticulitis, (outpouching sacs develop in the wall of the large intestine, touching and irritating the bladder)
  • a sexually transmitted infection
  • stroke and other brain or nervous system conditions
  • tumour or mass in the pelvic area
  • radiation of the pelvis, such as during cancer treatment
  • Anxiety

Associated Symptoms

Other symptoms that occur along with frequent urination may indicate another possibly more serious condition. Therefore, frequent urination is bad when it comes with:

  • pain or discomfort while urinating (painful or burning urination)
  • low back or side pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fever or chills
  • gradual loss of bladder control, or urinary incontinence
  • difficulty urinating despite the urge
  • discharge from the vagina or penis
  • an increase in appetite or thirst

When to see a doctor?

  • When frequent urination affects your daily activities, your night sleep and your quality of life
  • When you keep urinating frequently, more than every 1 hour during the day and at night
  • In case of other associated symptoms in particular pain and fever

How can you stop frequent urination?

The treatment of frequent urination depends on the underlying disease. Therefore, you have to start with a correct diagnosis. You can start filling up a two-day bladder diary and book an appointment with your urologist.