Frequent urination, or micturition (also called frequency), means having an urge to pass urine more often than usual. In some cases, the frequency of bathroom visits can disrupt one’s routine. The frequency at night (also called nocturia) can interrupt your sleep cycle and increase the risk of accidents related to excessive tiredness. When it starts being a problem is usually a sign of an underlying medical condition.
It is normal to urinate between 6 and 7 times over 24 hours. If you urinate more than seven times a day or every hour while drinking about 2 litres of water, you might have an abnormal frequency.
Sometimes you can observe that you urinate a lot even if you do not drink anything or still pee after peeing.
Quite often is a sign of excessive production of urine by the kidneys. The most common reason is drinking many fluids, especially if they contain caffeine or alcohol.
However, it can be a sign of kidney problems, or another medical condition, such as:
Other causes or related factors may include:
- food and drinks that act as diuretics
- diuretics, such as chlorothiazide that make you urinate fluid from your body
- urinary tract infection
- interstitial cystitis, a type of inflammation of the bladder wall
- overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome, which causes involuntary bladder contractions that lead one to feel a sudden urge to urinate
- bladder cancer
- bladder or kidney stones
- urethral stricture
- colon diverticulitis (outpouching sacs develop in the wall of the large intestine, touching and irritating the bladder)
- stroke and other brain or nervous system conditions
- tumour or mass in the pelvic area
- radiation of the pelvis, such as during cancer treatment
Causes of frequent urination in men
The most frequent cause is the lower urinary tract obstruction like prostate enlargement, bladder neck obstruction, and acute and chronic prostatitis.
Causes in women
In women is a more common infection like cystitis.
The overactive bladder
and the interstitial cystitis are other relatively common causes of frequent micturition in women.
Causes in children
Children have a small bladder, and if they increase their water intake (often forced by adults), they quickly have frequent urination. We must always rule out an infection or a congenital abnormality in children with frequent micturition.
Other symptoms and frequent urination may indicate another possibly more severe condition. Therefore, frequent urination is alarming when it comes with:
- pain or discomfort while urinating (painful or burning urination)
- low back or side pain
- nausea or vomiting
- fever or chills
- gradual loss of bladder control, or urinary incontinence
- difficulty urinating despite the urge
- discharge from the vagina or penis
- an increase in appetite or thirst
Seek medical advice
- When your daily activities are affected, as well as your night sleep and your quality of life
- When you keep frequently urinating, more than every 1 hour during the day and at night
- In case of other associated symptoms, like fever