What is and what does it mean frequent urination?

23.11.2018

By Marco Raber, Consultant Urologist at Emirates Hospital, Dubai

Urination is the way the body gets rid of waste fluids. Urine contains water, uric acid, urea, and toxins and waste filtered from within the body. The kidneys play a key role in this process.

Urine stays in the urinary bladder until it reaches a point of fullness and an urge to urinate. At this point, the urine is expelled from the body.

Frequent urination means having an urge to pass urine more often than usual. It can disrupt one's normal routine, interrupt the sleep cycle, and it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Many people live with frequent urination, known medically as frequency. When one urinates more than 3 liters a day of urine, this is known as polyuria. Often, there is often a simple cause that can be put right through treatment.

Frequency is not the same as urinary incontinence, where there is leakage of urine.

Sometimes, frequent urination can indicate a more serious condition. Early identification of the problem can lead to a timely and effective treatment and prevent complications.

Urination is a complex process, involving various body systems. A range of changes can make the urinary system more active.

Lifestyle-based causes include drinking a lot of fluids, especially if they contain caffeine or alcohol. At night, this can interrupt the sleep cycle with urges to urinate. Frequent urination can also develop as a habit.

However, it can be a sign of kidney or ureter problems, urinary bladder problems, or another medical condition, such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, pregnancy, or prostate gland problems.

It is good to see a doctor when the frequent urination has become a problem that does affect your quality of life.