Frequent urination is the need to pee more often than average (seven to eight times) throughout the day. It can happen to anyone, but it’s more common in people over the age of 70, pregnant people and people with an enlarged prostate. The most common cause is urinary tract infections. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Frequent urination is when you need to pee too many times throughout the day or night. It’s inconvenient and disruptive to your daily life. It’s a common complaint among all people, regardless of sex or gender.
Frequent urination is a symptom of many different conditions and can have a wide variety of treatments. It can be a symptom of pregnancy or a urinary tract infection, or more serious or long-lasting conditions like diabetes, overactive bladder or prostate issues.
In many cases, your healthcare provider can help relieve frequent peeing by treating the underlying condition.
It’s common to occasionally wake up at night to pee. In fact, it’s normal to get up to urinate. In general, you can expect to pee once a night in your 40s and 50s, twice a night in your 60s and 70s and even two to three times a night in your 80s and beyond. But waking up too often in the night can keep you from getting enough sleep and is sometimes a sign of a health condition. This type of frequent urination is called nocturia. Some serious conditions — like heart failure, edema (swelling) in your legs and sleep disorders — are more likely to cause frequent urination at night.
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Most people pee about seven to eight times per day, on average. If you feel the need to pee much more than that, or if you’re getting up every hour or 30 minutes to go, you might be frequently urinating. This can still be considered “normal,” though, especially if you’re drinking lots of fluids or taking certain medications. What matters most is what’s typical for you.
You’re more likely to frequently urinate if you:
Many conditions can cause frequent urination, including:
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are the most common cause of frequent urination. These are bacterial infections in your bladder, urethra or other parts of your urinary tract. They include cystitis (bladder infection), urethritis (infection of the urethra) and pyelonephritis (kidney infection). Different types of vaginitis may also cause frequent urination, including yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV) or trichomonas.
Other conditions in your urinary tract and pelvic area that can cause frequent urination include:
Frequent urination is very common during pregnancy. The fetus can press on your bladder, making it hold less and causing you to pee more.
You might have to pee more frequently in your first and third trimesters. It’s less common in the second trimester.
Frequent urination is a common symptom of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. When your body can’t use insulin to break down glucose, it makes more pee to get rid of it. Diabetes is more likely to cause higher volumes of urine when you go (polyuria) than other causes of frequent urination.
In men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB), the prostate is a golf-ball-sized gland that makes some of the liquid that comes out during ejaculation. An enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) — or, more rarely, prostate tumors — can place pressure on your urinary system and cause frequent urination.
Other causes of frequent urination include:
If you’re peeing more than eight times a day or more than twice at night, or the number of times you pee per day bothers you, you might have frequent urination. A healthcare provider can help you understand your symptoms and find the cause. To do this, they might ask you questions like:
The provider may also take a urine sample to test for UTIs. If they don’t find other causes, they may use ultrasound or CT scan to look for tumors or other structural issues that might be causing frequent urination. In some cases, they might use a cystoscope (a small camera) to look inside your bladder.
You can manage or stop frequent urination with treatment. Your healthcare provider will usually start by determining the cause of your symptoms.
Treatment depends on the underlying condition and could include:
There are several lifestyle changes to manage frequent urination that’s not caused by an infection or other underlying condition. These include:
While many causes of frequent urination aren’t serious, some can cause life-threatening complications if left untreated. Serious complications include dangerously high blood glucose in untreated diabetes, dehydration and infections that spread to other parts of your body.
Many causes of frequent urination aren’t cause for concern. If you find yourself going to the bathroom more than eight times a day, or if you feel like you’re peeing more than what’s normal for your body, talk to a healthcare provider. They can help you find and treat the cause.
Because the conditions that cause frequent urination range from minor to serious, you should speak to a provider about anything outside of your typical urination patterns. The cause is often a temporary symptom that can be treated.
See a provider immediately if you have these signs with frequent urination:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Everyone feels the need to pee. But if you find yourself making trips to the bathroom to relieve your bladder throughout the day — or night — you might be experiencing frequent urination. While the causes often aren’t serious, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider to rule out underlying illnesses. Even though it’s disruptive and can be stressful, it’s often treatable with the help of a provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/03/2023.
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