What is frequent urination?

Frequent urination is an inconvenient condition that can affect both men and women. It is sometimes called overactive bladder or urgent urination. When this condition happens at night, it is called nocturia.

Frequent urination can be a main problem, or the symptom of another problem. It can cause embarrassment and inconvenience during the day, and sleep problems at night. It is usually manageable, often by dealing with the underlying condition.

Who experiences frequent urination?

Frequent urination can affect anyone. However, it is most common in men and women in middle-age or older. It is also common in pregnant women.

What causes frequent urination?

There are a number of different conditions that may cause frequent urination. The most common causes of frequent urination vary based on age and gender. They range from minor to serious. These causes include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): This is the most common cause of frequent urination. The inflammation caused by the infection reduces the bladder's ability to hold urine.
  • Diabetes: Frequent urination can be a symptom of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.
  • Prostate problems: This is a major cause of frequent urination in men. An enlarged prostate can block the flow of urine, causing the bladder to become irritated and contract.
  • Pregnancy: Frequent urination is a harmless symptom of most pregnancies. As the uterus and baby grow, they place pressure on the bladder, causing the need to urinate.
  • Interstitial cystitis: A condition that causes pelvic and bladder pain and the feeling of having to urinate constantly.
  • Diuretics: Medicines used to treat other conditions such as high blood pressure can cause frequent urination as excess fluids are flushed from the body.
  • Stroke: A stroke can damage nerves in the bladder and lead to frequent urination.
  • Excessive alcohol or caffeine use.
  • Bladder cancer: Frequent urination is a rare symptom of bladder cancer. A more common symptom is blood in the urine.
  • Pelvic tumor: Another rare cause of frequent urination.
  • Overactive bladder syndrome: A common cause of the frequent urgent need to urinate.
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvic area.
  • Vaginitis: An inflammation of the vagina that causes the frequent need to urinate for women.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.

What are the symptoms of frequent urination?

Fortunately for sufferers of frequent urination, symptoms are easily spotted. If you feel the need to urinate more than 4 to 8 times in a day, there is a very likely chance that you have issues with frequent urination. It is important to check with your doctor if you are a normal healthy adult (non-pregnant) and urinate more frequently than 4 to 8 times a day.