7 Common Causes Of Frequent Urination

frequent urination causes

How often do you go to a washroom? Most people urinate approximately eight times per day and just once a night if at all. If the frequency is more than that, it could be a sign of concern.  Frequent urination should not be ignored as it may be a sign of an underlying condition. However, frequent urination during pregnancy is a common symptom and is not a health problem unless it is due to an infection. Also, if you have excess fluids/caffeinated beverages or are on medications such as diuretics, then you can suffer from frequent urination. 

Here are a few common causes of frequent urination and why you should not ignore this symptom.

1. Uncontrolled diabetes: Frequent urination and excessive urine volume (polyuria) is an early symptom of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This is because, there is excess glucose in the blood, which the body tries to eliminate and puts pressure on the kidneys to excrete it through urine. This is the reason why people with high blood glucose feel the urge to go to the washroom often.

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2. Interstitial cystitis (IC): Commonly known as painful bladder syndrome, IC is a chronic condition that can be managed. It is common in women and is characterized by chronic pelvic, which gets worse when the bladder gets full. The other common symptoms include nocturia (urge to urinate at night), frequent urination and urgency. The condition significantly affects the quality of the life.

3. Urinary tract infection (UTI): It is one of the most common causes of frequent urination.  Women are at a higher risk of suffering from UTI than men simply because of the fact that the urethra (the tube connecting the urinary bladder to urinary orifice) is shorter in women and hence, bacteria need to travel a shorter distance to cause infection in the urinary tract.

In some cases, it shows no symptoms (asymptomatic) and in some, it may present with symptoms such as pain during urination, burning sensation, itching and the inability to empty the bladder.

4. Kidney disease: The urge to urinate more often, especially at night, could be a sign of kidney disease. An infection of the kidneys can damage the organ and impact its filtration process, which can cause frequent urination. Hence, consulting your doctor is the right idea so as to know the right cause. In some cases, kidney disease could be due to an underlying urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate in men. 

5. Prostate problems: An enlargement of the gland can lead to frequent urination, which is one of the common causes in men, especially elderly men. In some cases, an infection of the prostate gland (known as prostatitis) or cancer of the prostate gland can also increase the urge to urinate.

An enlarged prostate is common in men above 50 years. The enlargement of the prostate puts pressure on the urinary bladder which in turn lead to urinary frequency. In addition to frequent urination, it can lead to symptoms such as nocturia (urge to urinate at night) and the feeling of a full bladder every time.

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6. Overactive bladder: An overactive bladder is another common cause that can make you visit washroom more often than normal. It is a condition that causes sudden contraction of the urinary bladder and hence, causes an urge to urinate. It can also lead to urinary incontinence in some cases. Although there is no known cause of the condition, there are few treatment options that can help you deal with it.

7. Bladder cancer: Cancerous growth in the tissues of the bladder can lead to an increase in the urge to urinate. In addition to frequent urination, it can show symptoms such as blood in the urine and pain in the pelvic region or lower abdomen. If you experience any of these signs, do not ignore but consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When To Go To A Doctor?

Frequent urination might not be a sign of an underlying health problems always. However, it is important to rule any possible medical conditions and not ignore the symptoms. You should consult a doctor if:

– Frequent urination is affecting your daily routine

– You find blood in urine

– Have fever, chills or vomiting along with frequent urination

– You experience abdominal pain

– Your urine is cloudy or if it has an unusual odour

– You have lost a lot of weight in recent times

– You suffer from increased thirst or hunger

– There is a discharge from the vagina or penis

– Wake up in the middle of the night more often than not

Remember it is always a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor if you experience any symptoms. Getting the right diagnosis and timely treatment can go a long way in effectively treating and preventing any long-term health complications associated with the condition. Self-medication and home remedies should not be the first line of treatment for any condition but your doctor’s advice. 

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

Recommended Reads:

Coping With Frequent Urination

What Does Your Urine Colour Tell You About Your Health?


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3. Zhou J, Kelsey KT, Smith S, Giovannucci E, Michaud DS. Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Risk of Bladder Cancer in Men: Results From the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Urology. 2015 Jun;85(6):1312-8.

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