What causes frequent urination?

There are actually many different conditions that could cause frequent urination. Many of these causes are based on your age, gender or possibly even both. You could experience frequent urination a few times throughout your life for different reasons. These conditions can range from minor—and easily manageable—to more serious issues.

Urinary tract and bladder conditions It may seem obvious, but issues with your urinary tract and bladder are some of the most common conditions to cause frequent urination. Urinary tract infections (UTI), in particular, are the most common cause of frequent urination. During a UTI, an outside infection enters the body and causes inflammation (swelling) in your urinary system. This system is made up of the kidneys, ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), bladder and urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). Other conditions in this system that can cause frequent urination to include interstitial cystitis (a painful bladder condition where you feel an increased need to urinate) and overactive bladder syndrome. In very rare cases, frequent urination can be a symptom of bladder cancer.

Pregnancy During pregnancy, the bladder gets squished as the baby takes up more and more space inside of your body. Frequent urination is a very common and normal symptom of pregnancy. Interestingly, you will experience this symptom more during your first and third trimesters—the second trimester is a slight reprieve because the uterus is higher in your body, taking some pressure off your bladder. This symptom shouldn’t be an issue in the weeks and months after childbirth as your body returns to its not-pregnant “normal.” You may be encouraged to do Kegel exercises (muscle contraction exercises that work out your pelvic floor) to avoid bladder problems like urine leakage (incontinence).

Diabetes Frequent urination is actually a very common symptom of diabetes. You may have it if you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The cause of this symptom is tied to a circular pattern happening with your kidneys. In diabetes, your body isn’t controlling the amount of sugar in your blood—which the kidneys are responsible for cleaning. As the kidneys do overtime to filter the blood, there is extra fluid that needs to leave the body. The more you need to urinate, and that fluid leaves your body, the more you drink to keep hydrated. This keeps the circle going.

Prostate problems In men, the prostate is a golf-ball-sized gland that makes some of the liquid that comes out during ejaculation. Your prostate grows as you do, but it can cause issues if it gets too large. A large prostate can place pressure on your urinary system and cause frequent urination. Conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – prostate enlargement, are all fairly common and treatable by your doctor. Other conditions that could cause frequent urination can include:

  • Having a stroke.
  • Developing a pelvic tumor.
  • Using diuretics (medications that help remove extra salt and water from the body through urine).
  • Having vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina).
  • Having a prolapse of the female pelvic organs through the vagina.
  • Radiation therapy to the pelvic area.
  • Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine.

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