Frequent urination is often triggered by drinking a lot of fluids, especially caffeine. If your frequent urination is not related to what you drink, it could be due to an underlying medical condition. While it could be a simple cause, such as a medication you're taking or a urinary tract infection (UTI), it can also be a sign of a chronic condition, such as interstitial cystitis or diabetes.
Frequent urination symptoms
An obvious symptom of frequent urination is the need to urinate more often than usual. This can happen during the day or more often at night, and this condition is called nocturia . Symptoms can include the following:
- Having to go to the bathroom more than eight times in 24 hours.
- Wake up more than once in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
- Frequent urge to urinate, even if you don't have to go
Frequent urination can occur on its own or along with other symptoms such as fever, pain, or increased thirst. Be sure to inform your doctor if you experience any symptoms other than frequent urination.
Your healthcare provider will watch your symptoms to determine the probable cause of frequent urination. Some of these reasons include:
- Bladder Cancer : Bladder cancer is a rare cause of frequent urination. It is often accompanied by a frequent urge to urinate and blood in the urine (microscopic or gross hematuria that is visible in the urine). Although there is usually no pain, sometimes there can be pain when urinating.
- Diabetes (type 1 and type 2) : Frequent urination can be one of the hallmarks of diabetes. Diabetes causes an increase in urine production as the body tries to rid itself of excess glucose.
- Diuretics – These medications are used to treat high blood pressure or excess fluid build-up in the tissues. They can cause increased urination.
- Interstitial cystitis (IC) : This chronic bladder disorder can lead to pressure on the bladder, pain, and a frequent urge to urinate. With IC, you may experience pain without need or frequent urgency, or you may have frequent, urgent urgency without pain.
- Neurological conditions: Conditions such as stroke or Parkinson's disease can damage the nerves that control the filling or emptying of the bladder. This can lead to bladder problems, including a constant need to urinate.
- Overactive bladder : Having an overactive bladder means that you have a frequent and urgent need to urinate, even if your bladder is not full. An overactive bladder may or may not include urination, also called urinary incontinence. It can be caused by nervous system problems, but the cause is often unknown.
- Pregnancy : When you are pregnant, the need to urinate may increase due to hormones and the baby's pressure on the bladder.
- Prostate disease : Conditions of the prostate, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate), cancer , and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), can prevent urine from flowing through the urethra (the duct carrying urine out of the body). This can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and frequent urination.
- Radiation therapy : One of the side effects of pelvic radiation is increased urination. Radiation can irritate the bladder and urinary tract, causing bladder spasms and an urgent need to go to the bathroom.
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) : If you have a urinary tract infection, it can cause an urgent need to urinate frequently even after you have emptied your bladder. Symptoms can also include painful urination, a low fever, and cloudy or bloody urine. UTIs are much more common in women than men.
Frequent urination can be a sign of many medical conditions. Your healthcare professional will usually do a physical exam and ask if you are taking any medications, if you have any symptoms of infection, or if your eating or drinking habits have changed.
Your healthcare provider will likely also order a urine sample to check for bacteria (urine culture) or white blood cells (urine), which could indicate an infection. After confirmation of erythrocytes (three or more), a urinalysis cytology will be prescribed. Other possible tests include urodynamics to check how the bladder muscles are working, a cystoscopy (camera) to look inside the bladder, or an ultrasound or CT scan to look for cancer and other structural causes of frequent urination.
Usually the best way to deal with frequent urination is by treating the underlying condition. This could mean managing diabetes, treating a urinary tract infection with antibiotics, or treating cancer.
If the condition is diagnosed as an overactive bladder, treatment may include dietary changes, Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, monitoring fluid intake, and behavioral therapies such as bladder training. It may also include medications such as anticholinergics (such as oxybutynin) or beta-3-adrenergic receptor agonists (such as mirabegron), Botox injections, or other procedures to modulate the sacral or other nerves.
Bladder training involves following a strict urination schedule and increasing the time between emptying the bladder. The goal is to increase both the time between urination and the amount of fluid the bladder can hold. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe medicine to calm your muscles and nerves.
There is no cure for interstitial cystitis, but there are treatments that can relieve its symptoms, including a swollen (distended) bladder under anesthesia, oral medications, bladder training, and diet and lifestyle choices. You may find that avoiding certain foods and drinks can help control your symptoms.
Get the word of drug information
Frequent urination can have many different reasons, so it is important to consult your doctor. Whether it's for short-term or long-term treatment, your healthcare provider can help you find ways to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.