Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on January 10, 2020. Written by Jordana White. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Many people need to urinate often but aren’t sure if their frequent urination is a medical problem. But what is considered frequent urination—and how do you know if you have a bladder infection or some other issue?
Generally speaking, frequent urination (or urinary frequency) is the need to urinate more often than “normal,” in a 24-hour period. If you go often, or if you wake up more than once a night to use the bathroom, you might be dealing with frequent urination.
What causes frequent urination? For some, the cause could be pregnancy, a urinary tract infection, age-related factors, or an enlarged prostate. For others, though, an overactive bladder may be a sign of an underlying medical condition—so it’s important to determine what’s causing your frequent urination and urinary symptoms, allowing you to take steps to prevent this urinary problem from affecting your daily life and leading to further bladder problems.
There are two possible reasons you experience frequent or urgent urination: either your urine volume increases, or your bladder’s ability to store or expel urine becomes impaired. Causes of frequent urination can include several lifestyle factors.
Drinking a large amount of fluids: If you take in more fluids than your body needs to maintain adequate hydration, you will need to urinate more frequently as a result of higher urine production.
Diet: Both alcohol and caffeine are potential diuretics, which means they can cause frequent and urgent urination. Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, beverages with carbonation, and artificial sweeteners are also bladder irritants that can trigger frequent urination.
Some infections can also cause frequent urination, including:
If lifestyle factors or infections aren’t behind your frequent urination, hormonal changes could be responsible. There are two common causes:
Here are a few other possible causes of frequent urination in women and men:
Certain medical conditions can involve frequent urination.
You should seek medical attention if you have frequent urination with incontinence, nighttime urination, or if it gets in the way of your daily activities.
You should seek emergency treatment if you have frequent urination and any of the following symptoms:
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and take your medical history. To treat frequent urination, your healthcare provider will first treat any infections or medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem.
Afterward, your healthcare provider will help you decide how to stop frequent urination. You may need prescription medications to help control your frequent urination.
Here are some remedies you can try to reduce a frequent urge to urinate.
Dietary changes: Stay away from bladder irritants and diuretics, including caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, carbonated drinks, citrus and tomato-based products, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods. You can also incorporate more fiber into your diet, since constipation can contribute to the symptoms of frequent urination.
Drinking less: Take in just enough fluids to avoid dehydration and constipation. Cut off all drinking at least an hour before bedtime to avoid nighttime urination.
Kegel exercises: Identify the muscles you use to hold in your urine, then squeeze, hold, and release those muscles for five-minute intervals, three times a day. These exercises help reduce frequent urination by strengthening the muscles around your urethra and bladder.
While frequent urination can be frustrating, you can overcome the challenges of this condition by identifying its cause and seeking appropriate treatment in response.
There are no guarantees, but sticking to a balanced diet and staying active helps keep your urine flowing properly. This is especially true if your diet avoids irritating foods in favor of high-fiber options that can help prevent constipation.
While there is no specific diet that can help control frequent urination, certain foods help promote a healthy bladder. Some examples include whole grains, nuts, eggs, bananas, and pears. Foods to avoid include dairy products, citrus fruits, and artificial sweeteners.
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