The frequent need to urinate is typically unpleasant, and at times it is even an alarming sign of a serious condition. This does not necessarily indicate an underlying health issue, but there can be various other reasons for frequent urination. Frequent urination can also interfere with your daily activities like work, sleep, etc.
What Does Frequent Urination Mean?
Frequent urination is a condition in which there comes a need to urinate more often than usual. It is also called polyuria. Frequent urination is referred to as overactive bladder, and the urge strikes suddenly, leading to losing control over your bladder. When there comes a need to urinate more than eight times a day, it can disrupt one’s regular routine and interrupt the normal sleep cycle, indicative of an underlying health problem. There are many causes for frequent urination.
What Are the Causes for Frequent Urination?
Frequent urination can be an alarming signal for many underlying health problems.
Frequent urination with an unusually excessive amount of urine is a hallmark sign or symptom of both type 1 and 2 diabetes. It is commonly seen in diabetic patients because the elimination of body fluids is the only way to flush out the excess blood sugar from the body.
There are a few other symptoms that are commonly experienced, along with frequent urination in case of diabetes. You need to look for the following symptoms if you are worried about if it is due to diabetes:
2) Urinary Tract Infection:
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one common cause of frequent urination. These infections are usually caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that lives in the intestinal system. If E.coli are carried from the rectum to the vagina, they can enter the urethra. The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder and can infect the bladder. In a study, it was estimated that around 50 % to 60 % of women would experience urinary tract infections at least once in their lifetime. Women are at a higher risk than men because their urethra is shorter, so bacteria have less distance to travel and can infect the urinary tract and cause symptoms.
The common risk factors for urinary tract infections (UTIs):
Not drinking enough water.
Holding urine for too long.
Vaginal irritation and inflammation.
Improper wiping after using the toilet. It can expose the urethra to bacteria.
Conditions like pregnancy where the structure of the urinary system is changed.
Chronic medical conditions like diabetes.
The most common symptoms seen in urinary tract infection are:
3) Bladder Stones:
Bladder stones are a condition where crystallized minerals are formed when concentrated urine hardens in the bladder after urination.
The common causes of bladder stones are:
Bacteria and other organisms are a common cause of bladder stones.
Injured or damaged urethra.
Enlarged prostate gland.
The common symptoms of bladder stones are:
4) Overactive Bladder:
Overactive bladder can be one of the common causes of frequent urination. According to a report given by the American Urological Association, 33 million Americans have an overactive bladder.
The common symptoms of overactive bladder are:
Sudden urge to urinate sometimes resulting in leaks.
Nocturia, a condition in which there is a need to urinate at least two or more times at night.
Increased urinary frequency - Urge to urinate more than eight times a day.
5) Enlarged Prostate:
An enlarged prostate can press against the urethra resulting in the blockage of the flow of urine. This causes the bladder wall to become irritable, and so the bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
The common symptoms of enlarged prostate are:
Increased urinary frequency is one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. It is usually not a sign of any medical problem. It is caused by an increase in the hormones progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin. The urge to urinate reduces in the second trimester. Women with urinary frequency can also experience urinary leakage while being pregnant, and this leakage usually occurs when they cough or exercise, or sneeze.
7) Other Causes of Frequent Urination:
How Is Frequent Urination Diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose frequent urination by your symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, they may suggest a few tests like:
Urinalysis: It is done to check for infection, protein or sugar, or any abnormal findings.
Pelvic Examination: Doctors may also conduct apelvic examination which includes the evaluation of your urethra and vagina.
Bladder Scan: This is an ultrasound done on your bladder after urination to see how much urine is left behind in the bladder.
Cystoscopy: This is used to take a closer look inside the bladder.
Urinary Testing: This involves a number of tests to see the functioning of the urinary system.
How Is Frequent Urination Treated?
Usually, treatment for frequent urination depends on the underlying cause. First, the cause has to be addressed and should be treated. In case the infection is the culprit, then antibiotics can be prescribed. Medications that are prescribed for controlling muscle spasms can help reduce urinary incontinence or the loss of bladder control. Doctors can also suggest some pelvic exercises like Kegel exercise or bladder retraining exercises that can help in delaying urination.
How to Prevent This Condition of Frequent Urination?
You can follow some ways to prevent this frequent urination like:
Avoid drinks like alcohol, tea, coffee, and citrus juices closer to bedtime.
Constipation can also contribute to frequent urination, so include plenty of soluble fiber.
Consult your doctor and ask for the proper way to perform Kegel pelvic exercises.
If you experience the symptoms of frequent urination, it is essential to address the underlying cause and to get it treated. Hence, it is always better to consult your doctor for an appropriate diagnosis and for a treatment plan.