Read below about frequent urination, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your frequent urination from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Frequent Urination Symptoms

Feeling as though you constantly need to urinate can make life very difficult, especially if the urge to go is strong and simply cannot be ignored. Your activities of daily living are always being interrupted and it's very difficult to take a long car trip, sit in a theater, or even go to work.

Many people are affected by frequent urination symptoms at one time or another in they have it lives, and it has many different causes. However, the good news is that abnormally frequent urination can often be successfully treated, or at least managed, with real improvement in your quality of life.

Frequent urination is also called overactive bladder (OAB), urgent urination, or polyuria.

Characteristics of frequent urination symptoms:

  • Having to urinate every two to three hours, or even more often, including at night while trying to sleep (nocturia). The average person can sleep for six to eight hours, or more, without having to get up to urinate.
  • Occasional incontinence, which is the uncontrollable leakage of urine.
  • Sometimes finding it difficult to empty your bladder.
  • Pelvic pain and pressure.

Who is most often affected by frequent urination symptoms?

  • Frequent urination is almost universal in pregnant women.
  • Women are more prone to urinary tract infections than men are, and these infections cause more frequent urination.
  • Men over the age of about 50 are often affected due to an enlarged prostate gland.

Is frequent urination serious?

  • In some cases, it is just a matter of adjusting your medications or the amount of liquids that you drink.
  • In other cases, though, quality of life can be seriously affected.

Frequent Urination Causes Overview

Most common frequent urination cause types:

  • Bacterial infections of your urinary tract. Infection causes inflammation and swelling, which irritates your bladder and causes it to contract more frequently.
  • As the baby grows, the uterus must enlarge, and it often presses on the bladder. This leaves less room within the bladder for urine and so it must empty itself more frequently.
  • Enlargement of the prostate in men, especially older men. The enlarged gland can push against the bladder and block the flow of urine, which causes the irritated bladder to contract more frequently and vigorously in an effort to empty itself.

Less common frequent urination cause types:

  • Diuretics, which are foods or medications that tend to remove excess fluid from your body:

    • Diuretic medications are frequently prescribed for high blood pressure.
    • Caffeine has a diuretic effect in some individuals.
    • Excess alcohol can also have a diuretic effect.
  • Diabetes, either type 1 or type 2. An early symptom of diabetes is increased thirst and more frequent urination. Getting the diabetes under control will control both symptoms.
  • Bladder stones are crystallized mineral deposits and may create inflammation and blockage, making it difficult for the bladder to empty itself and resulting in frequent attempts at urination.
  • Vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, causes irritation, swelling, discharge, and more frequent urination symptoms.
  • Anxiety. Nervous anticipation over an upcoming event can cause the urge to urinate. This is part of the body's fight-or-flight mode preparing you for action should it be needed, including having an empty bladder.

Rare & unusual frequent urination cause types:

  • Chronic inflammation of your bladder.
  • Tumors in your bladder, urinary tract, or pelvis.
  • Stroke or spinal cord injury. One of the effects can be damage to the nerves of your bladder, resulting in increased frequency of urination and less control.
  • Dementia, which can cause lessening of control over many body functions.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Frequent Urination

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced frequent urination. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    Symptoms most often go away within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes
    Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection:
    signs of urinary tract inflammation
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  2. 2.Symptoms of Menopause

    Menopause is the point in life where your period stops. This happens when the ovaries stop making hormones that keep your cycle going. The transition into menopause is called peri-menopause and can include symptoms like hot flashes, shortening of menstrual cycle and mood fluctuations.

    Hot flashes typically peak approximately 1 year after the final period and last 4-10 years. Most women stop having hot flashes 4 years after they start, but 10% of women may have hot flashes up to 12 years after their last period.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, delay in or irregular periods, vaginal discharge, anxiety, trouble sleeping
    Symptoms that always occur with symptoms of menopause:
    delay in or irregular periods
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

    Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis (IC), is a chronic condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. The cause of this condition is not very clear and it is usually diagnosed when other causes like urinary tract infections are excluded.

    Chronic disease whose progression varies highly from person to person. Symptoms may persist for years.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood, pelvis pain, arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Yeast Infection

    Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called "Candida." Candida is the scientific name for yeast that lives almost everywhere, including in the human body. Typically, our immune system keeps it under control, but if you take antibiotics or gets sick, the fungus can multiply and cause an infection. In this case, it is happening in the vagina.

    50% of women have relapses within 2 months, and 9% have more than 4 episodes per year. For those, maintenance therapy is possible.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal itch or burning, white/gray vaginal discharge, thick vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, vulvovaginal redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  5. 5.Bladder Cancer

    The bladder is a hollow organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine. Bladder cancer, which occurs in the lining of the bladder, is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States.

    Your outcome is dependent on the extent of the disease.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), constipation, pelvis pain, side pain, frequent urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (Bph)

    The prostate is a gland in men. It helps make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. The prostate surrounds the tube that carries urine out of the body. As men age, their prostate grows bigger. If it gets too large, it can cause problems. An enlarged prostate is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Most men will get BPH as they get older. Symptoms often start after age 50.

    This is a chronic condition but can be well controlled with medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sudden urgency to urinate, waking up regularly to pee at night, frequent urination, constant but weak urination stream, feeling of not getting everything out when urinating
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Hemochromatosis

    Hemochromatosis is a disease in which too much iron builds up in the body. This can be hereditary or caused by another condition like liver failure.

    Lifelong

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), joint pain, decreased sex drive, frequent urination
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Type 2 Diabetes

    Diabetes causes that blood glucose (blood sugar) levels to become high. With Type II Diabetes, the more common type, the body does not make or use insulin efficiently. Insulin is necessary to metabolize glucose.

    Type II Diabetes is a life-long condition but can be well managed.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, increased appetite compared to normal, vision changes, feeling itchy or tingling all over, excesive thirst
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    Great prognosis with high remission rates

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Frequent Urination Treatments and Relief

Seek immediate treatment in the emergency room or call 911 if you have pelvic, abdominal, or back pain; notice blood in your urine; and have fever.

Schedule an appointment for:

  • Frequent urination that has no apparent cause.
  • Frequent urination that is interfering with your work, sleep, or overall quality of life.
  • Loss of bladder control (incontinence).
  • Suddenly finding it difficult to urinate at all.

Frequent urination remedies that you can try at home:

  • Drinking somewhat less fluid, as long as you don't become dehydrated.
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can have a diuretic effect.
  • To minimize nocturia, reduce your late night intake of fluids.

FAQs About Frequent Urination

Here are some frequently asked questions about frequent urination.

Can frequent urination be an early sign of pregnancy?

Frequent urination can be a sign of early pregnancy. As your hormones adjust to a new pregnancy in the first trimester, you may urinate more frequently. The specific hormone is called human chorionic growth hormone, or hCG for short. The frequency tends to improve temporarily in the second trimester.

Will anxiety cause frequent urination?

Anxiety usually does not cause frequent urination. Overactive bladder, or a bladder that tends to give little notice before developing an urge to urinate can cause anxiety in some people, but it is uncommon to develop an overactive bladder following frequent urination.

Can UTIs lead to frequent urination?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can lead to frequent urination as infection and irritation of the bladder can lead to feelings of fullness. Other signs of a UTI include a change in color of urine or smell of urine. A foul smell of urine is a frequent sign of infection. An increase in the amount of bubble in the urine can also be a sign of a UTI as well as cloudy urine.

Which STDs cause frequent urination?

Any bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI and previously STD) can cause frequent urination. This means that viruses like the human papillomavirus (HPV) do not cause frequent urination. Diseases like trichomonas, gonorrhea, and chlamydia can and often do cause frequent urination or discomfort during urination.

Are frequent urination and ovulation linked?

While there are some reports of a linkage between ovulation and urination, and, theoretically, the hormones that cause ovulation can increase the frequency of urination, there are no reliable studies linking ovulation and frequency of urination. It is, however, a measure used to predict ovulation by many women. If you are monitoring your ovulation, either to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, seek the counseling of a medical professional.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Frequent Urination

  • Q.Do you feel pain when you urinate?
  • Q.Are you sexually active?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our frequent urination symptom checker to find out more.

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Frequent Urination Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced frequent urination have also experienced:

    • 4% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 4% Painful Urination
    • 4% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced frequent urination had symptoms persist for:

    • 30% Less Than a Week
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 23% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced frequent urination were most often matched with:

    • 50% Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)
    • 33% Urinary Tract Infection
    • 16% Symptoms of Menopause
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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