What Is Frequent Urination?

Frequent urination is defined as needing to urinate more often than usual. A urinary tract infection is the most common cause, but there could also be a more serious infection or a serious medical disorder responsible for this problem. Read on to learn when to see your doctor.

8 minute read

Last Updated July 30, 2020

Frequent Urination: Causes, Treatment, and When to See Your Doctor

Frequent urination is defined as needing to urinate more often than normal. The trouble is that there is no clear definition of what is “normal” and what is “frequent” because the need to urinate can depend on a number of variables.

Your age, diet, activity, and amount of water consumed can influence how often you urinate. There are also conditions that can cause more frequent urination, so what is considered “frequent” will vary across individuals.

Heart disease is one of the more serious causes of frequent urination. Blood flow is reduced to the kidneys causing you to retain fluid. This excess fluid causes frequent urination. Heart failure can be an underlying cause, so it is important not to ignore the symptom.

If you feel anxious when you are not near a bathroom, or if you notice that your visits to the bathroom have increased, then you could have frequent urination. In addition to going more often, you may also have the urge to go, as urgency and frequent urination are often closely linked.

Urgent urination is defined as an overwhelming need to go to the bathroom, combined with pain and discomfort in the urinary tract. Both conditions can be very disruptive to life.

Causes of Frequent Urination

As you get older, your bladder naturally loses elasticity, making it more difficult to hold urine for long periods of time. A condition known as nocturia is more common with age, which prevents your body from producing the hormone that prevents nighttime urination.

A urinary tract infection is the most common cause for frequent urination, but there are additional causes to consider too.

♦ Drinking too much liquid, especially caffeinated beverages
♦ Pregnancy
♦ Anxiety
♦ Diuretic medication
♦ An overactive bladder
♦ Radiation therapy
♦ Damage to the urinary tract

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a Prostate Gland Enlargement

In addition to these, there are health conditions associated with frequent urination, and they could be the underlying cause of your problem.

Stroke: Bowel and bladder problems are common among stroke survivors, and frequent urination is a common symptom after a stroke.

Enlarged Prostate: An enlarged prostate gland can cause discomfort by blocking the flow of urine from the bladder. As a result, the need to urinate becomes more pronounced and urgent towards the end of the day

Bladder Cancer: A tumor in the bladder or anywhere in the urinary tract can interfere with the flow of urine and can place pressure on the bladder, resulting in more frequent urination.

Diverticulitis: Diverticulitis causes extensive inflammation of the bowel, which is in close contact with your bladder. As the bowel swells and pushes on the bladder, you may feel a more urgent need to urinate.

Heart failure: Over 50 percent of individuals with heart failure experience poor bladder control, which indicates that frequent urination could be an early sign of heart disease and failure.

Vaginal infection: Urinary tract infections and vaginal infections frequently cause inflammation and frequent urination.

Interstitial cystitis: This is a chronic bladder issue resulting in pain and pressure in the bladder. Urination is often more frequent and painful.

Diabetes: Diabetes causes excess blood sugar in the blood, which forces your kidneys to work harder. You also experience increased thirst, so you end up drinking more liquids. Excess liquid consumption forces the kidneys to work faster, which results in more frequent urination.

Diagnosing Frequent Urination

Your doctor will rely on your input regarding how often you urinate and when the problem started. They can also perform several tests to confirm a frequent urination problem.

A cystometry test measures the pressure inside your bladder to identify any nerve or muscular causes. A cystoscopy is a more invasive test to look inside the bladder for signs of damage, infection, and other potential causes of frequent urination. 

Treatment for Frequent Urination

The treatment for frequent or urgent urination will depend on the cause. If there is an underlying condition at fault, then this needs to be treated first. If the cause is an infection, then medications are prescribed to clear it up, and lifestyle changes can help in cases where drinking too many liquids is the cause.

Your doctor will be able to develop the most effective treatment plan based on an analysis of the cause and any other symptoms you may be having.

Diverticulosis and Diverticulitis

Natural Treatment for Frequent Urination

If you have an overactive bladder or a condition causing you to urinate more frequently, there are things you can try at home to help. Medications and treatment of the condition will be the main treatment to follow, but additional steps you take can help you control your bladder.

Losing weight: Additional weight puts increased pressure on the bladder, so losing excess weight can help reduce this pressure and strain.

Kegel exercises: pelvic floor exercises like Kegel help to strengthen pelvic muscles, which reduces leaking and excessive urination. This is an effective form of therapy that has no side effects.

Bladder retraining program: Start by keeping a journal of how often you go to the bathroom. Then start delaying your visit by small intervals and increasing the amount of time you wait each time. This retrains your bladder muscles to act in a different way, thus reducing the frequent urges to go. 

In addition to these methods, there are natural ingredients you can add to your diet to promote heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. This can also help in reducing frequent urination. 

Red yeast rice: By reducing cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and improving blood pressure, red yeast rice naturally supports your heart.
Lion’s mane mushroom: Lion’s mane mushrooms contain nutrients that support healthy cholesterol ratios that can prevent damage to arteries and lower blood pressure. 
Chromium: Chromium’s natural effect on insulin activity makes it an important resource in controlling diabetes. This protects your heart and arteries from the damage excess blood sugar can cause. 
Niacin: Niacin protects the arteries and surrounding tissues from inflammation and oxidative damage, which reduces the risk of heart disease. 

Bladder Retraining Program Strengthens Bladder Muscles

When to See Your Doctor

It is only necessary to seek medical attention if frequent urination is present, along with additional symptoms. In these cases, there is usually a medical condition underlying the problem.

If you also experience any of the following symptoms, you need to see your doctor right away:

♦ Blood in your urine
♦ Urine that is cloudy or has an unusual smell
♦ Fever or chills
♦ Fatigue
♦ Vomiting
♦ Abdominal pain
Sudden weight loss

Once the cause is diagnosed, you can start treatment for your urgent or frequent urination. With treatment and lifestyle changes, you can effectively reduce the need to urinate so that it no longer impacts your quality of life.

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