Your body gets rid of waste fluids through your urine. Urine is made of water, urea and uric acid, as well as toxins and waste that your kidneys filter out. Urine is stored in your bladder until your bladder is full and you have the urge to urinate.
Frequent urination is different to urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is when you have reduced control over your bladder. Urinary incontinence can occur alongside frequent urination.
Depending on how much you eat, drink and sweat, most people, on average, urinate six or seven times in 24 hours. Frequent urination is when you:
If you need to urinate more than seven times every day or have to wake up in the night to urinate, you may be drinking too many fluids and/or drinking too close to bedtime.
If you pass more than three litres of urine every day, you have polyuria. Polyuria usually has a cause that can be easily treated, although sometimes it may indicate a more serious condition. The sooner you have a diagnosis and get treatment, the less likely you are to develop complications.
Needing to urinate often is a symptom that affects both men and women and becomes more likely from middle age onwards.
In men, an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) can cause frequent urination by pushing against the urethra. This blocks urine flow, which irritates the bladder, causing it to contract even when the bladder is not full, resulting in frequent urination.
In women, frequent urination can be caused by:
Other underlying conditions that affect men and women which can cause frequent urination, include:
Diuretics (eg chlorothiazide) used to treat high blood pressure or to flush out excess fluid can also cause frequent urination. Caffeine and alcohol, which act as diuretics, can make you urinate more frequently too.
You may also feel the need to urinate more often if you are feeling anxious as your body’s natural stress response tries to eliminate waste to deal with a challenge.
Conditions affecting your urinary system
Sometimes frequent urination is caused by conditions directly affecting your urinary system instead of another health problem. Conditions include:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs), which can often cause frequent urination, can affect your bladder, kidneys or urethra (the tube that takes urine from your bladder out of your body). Other UTI symptoms include:
You can book an appointment with a Spire private GP today.
Frequent urination is often a symptom of polyuria (passing more than three litres of urine in 24 hours). If you frequently need to urinate at night (nocturia) you may have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Other urinary symptoms associated with frequent urination include:
You may also experience:
If you notice any of these symptoms or frequent urination is reducing your quality of life, see your GP. You may have a kidney infection, which if left untreated can permanently damage your kidneys. An untreated kidney infection could also spread to your bloodstream or other areas of your body.
See your GP if you need to urinate more often than usual with no obvious explanation.
They will ask about your medical history, how often and when you urinate, when your symptoms started and whether they have changed. They will also ask you about any medications and supplements you are taking, any changes in the colour, consistency or smell of your urine, how much fluid you drink, including alcohol and caffeine, and if this has changed recently.
They may also perform a physical examination. In men, this may include inserting a gloved finger into your bottom to check for a possible enlarged prostate.
They may also refer you for the following tests:
Treatments to stop frequent urination will vary, according to the cause of the problem. They may include:
Exercises can also help, such as regular Kegel exercises, which are designed to strengthen the muscles of your pelvis and support your bladder. These exercises should be done in sets of 10-20, three times per day for four to eight weeks before you’ll notice an improvement.
Biofeedback therapy can also help you become more aware of your bodily functions and improve your bladder control.
Drug treatments include darifenacin, desmopressin acetate, imipramine, mirabegron, oxybutynin, oxybutynin skin patch, solifenacin, tolterodine extended-release and trospium extended-release.
To help maintain a moderate volume of urine so you don't need to urinate too frequently, it is important to:
Is frequent urination a sign of liver problems?
Liver problems, such as liver disease, can damage your kidneys and consequently cause frequent urination.
Why do I feel like I need to pee even after I peed?
Feeling the urge to pee even after you have just peed could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as nerve problems, a sexually transmitted infection, diverticulitis or in men, an enlarged prostate. It can also be caused by a problem with your urinary system, such as overactive bladder syndrome or a urinary tract infection. See your GP for a diagnosis and treatment.
What colour is diabetic urine?
Diabetic urine is usually the same colour as normal urine ie pale yellow. However, diabetic urine can smell fruity or sweet due to the high level of glucose in it.