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Why Do I Experience Frequent Urination?

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Frequent Urination

If frequent urination is taking over your life, it could be the sign of an underlying medical problem requiring immediate attention.

You're drinking more water to stay healthy, but you're peeing all the time.

Is this normal or something more serious like diabetes, a urinary tract infection, prostate problems, or even cancer?

Knowing the facts about why men experience frequent urination can help you gain peace of mind, correct the problem, and prevent serious complications.

Ready to learn more about frequent urination? Keep reading!

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What is Frequent Urination?

Frequent urination occurs when you urinate more than usual, or more than most other people.

Normal urination is often 6 to 7 times within a 24-hour period, but everybody has a different “normal.”

If frequent urination doesn't interrupt your normal everyday life, it's not necessarily a cause for concern.

However, if the frequency of urination suddenly increases or it's higher than most people you know, see your doctor to detect or rule out possible medical problems.

What Are the Causes of Frequent Urination?

If you have frequent urination, several medical conditions could be causing it.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a common chronic health problem that can cause frequent urination and extreme thirst.

If you're at risk of diabetes because of an inactive lifestyle, family history of diabetes, or being overweight and you experience frequent urination, see your doctor for a health screening.

A simple blood test can detect diabetes and its severity.

Diabetes treatment often includes weight loss, making dietary changes, exercising more, taking oral diabetes medications, using insulin, or combining lifestyle changes with medical treatments.

Enlarged Prostate

If you have an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), you might experience frequent urination as well as problems starting a urine stream, a weak urine stream, inability to completely empty your bladder, or blood in your urine.

Complications associated with BPH can include urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder damage, and bladder stones.

See your doctor if you suspect you have an enlarged prostate.

Treatment might include taking medications, laser treatment, or a minor surgical procedure.

Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that can cause bladder pressure and pelvic pain.

If you have interstitial cystitis, you might have to urinate often but void small amounts of urine.

It occurs more often in women than in men.

Taking medications or undergoing physical therapy, nerve stimulation, or surgery can offer interstitial cystitis symptom relief.

Excessive Caffeine or Alcohol

Drinking a lot of caffeine or alcohol, especially more than you usually consume, is another cause of frequent urination in men and women.

While caffeine in coffee and tea can offer some benefits, such as increases in energy and a boost in metabolism, overdoing it on caffeine can cause changes in your heart rate, restlessness, and sleeping problems.

Limit alcoholic drinks as much as possible or avoid them altogether.

Excessive Water Intakes

Drinking a lot of water isn't bad for you, though overdoing it with fluids can cause negative side effects or be dangerous in some instances.

If you drink more water than your body needs, frequent urination often results.

Many men need about 15-16 cups of fluids daily to achieve optimal health.

You might require more or less than this depending on your size, body fat percentage, and physical activity level.

Make sure your urine is light yellow or clear in color, rather than bright yellow, but don't drink so much water that you're in the bathroom every hour.


Bladder Cancer

If you experience signs of bladder cancer, including frequent urination, blood in your urine, painful urination, or back pain, see your doctor right away.

They may recommend a biopsy, imaging tests, urine tests, or cystoscopy.

Bladder cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

Overactive Bladder Syndrome

Overactive bladder often affects 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States.

In addition to frequent urination, other symptoms of overactive bladder include loss of bladder control, urinating more than eight times a day, waking up during the night to urinate, leaking urine, bed wetting, and discomfort or strain during urination.

Overactive bladder treatment often includes pelvic floor exercises, medications, nerve stimulation, bladder injections, and surgery.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common causes of frequent urination in men and women, though women are more likely to experience them.

Symptoms include urinating often, a burning sensation during urination, cloudy urine, strong-smelling urine, red or pink urine, a strong urge to urinate, and pelvic pressure or pain.

UTI treatment often includes taking antibiotics.

Fasting

If you're new to fasting, which is when you don't eat food for a specified time period, you might notice increases in urination — at least initially.

That's because stored carbohydrates in your muscles and liver, also known as glycogen, hold water.

When these stores get reduced because of fasting, water losses often follow.

If you've been wondering whether or not intermittent fasting is the right choice for you, then this video is the perfect place to start.

Urinary Incontinence

Your risk of developing urinary incontinence increases with older age.

It occurs when you can't make it to the bathroom in time or leak urine at inopportune times.

Possible causes of urinary incontinence include obesity, urinary tract obstruction, nerve damage, neurological disorders, prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate, and weak pelvic floor or bladder muscles.

Smoking, drinking, and lack of physical activity can also increase your risk of urinary incontinence.

Treatment includes lifestyle changes, medications, injections, and surgical procedures.

Some Medications

Taking certain medications may cause frequent urination.

Your doctor can let you know if the medicines you're taking, which might include blood-pressure-lowering medications or other diuretics, contribute to urinary changes.

Past Pelvic Radiation Treatments

If you experience frequent urination and you have a history of pelvic radiation treatments, the two might be linked.

Talk with your doctor about treatment options for urinary problems related to past radiation therapy.

Bladder or Kidney Stones

Having bladder or kidney stones is also associated with frequent urination in men and women.

Other symptoms can include painful urination, lower abdominal pain, blood in your urine, cloudy urine, foul-smelling urine, and other urinary problems.

Medications, sound wave or laser treatment, lifestyle changes, and surgical procedures are treatment options for kidney and bladder stones.

Kidney Infections

Kidney infections can develop when urinary tract infections travel to one or both of your kidneys.

You might experience frequent urination, chills, fever, abdominal pain, burning with urination, nausea, vomiting, blood or pus in your urine, cloudy urine, or foul-smelling urine.

Treatment options include taking antibiotics or undergoing a surgical procedure.

Tumors

If you have a tumor within or near your urinary tract, it might affect urination.

Your doctor can detect tumors using diagnostic imaging procedures, cystoscopy, biopsy, or urine samples.

They let you know if a tumor is cancerous, and offer treatment recommendations based on the results.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Certain STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause changes in urination.

Your doctor might screen you for STDs using urine samples, blood tests, or tissue swabs.

They can treat some STDs using antibiotics.

Urethral Stricture

Urethral stricture is a condition in which your urethra, the tube that carries urine, scars, and narrows.

It restricts urine flow from your bladder and is more common among men than women.

Possible causes of urethral stricture include STDs, inflammation, infection, and other urinary tract problems.

To treat the condition, your doctor might recommend urethral dilation, a urethral incision, or even urethra reconstruction in some instances.

What Are the Risk Factors for Frequent Urination?

Specific risk factors for frequent urination depend on the condition that's causing it.

Examples include:

  • Older age
  • Taking certain medications
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Having a stroke
  • Cognitive decline
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Family history of frequent urination

Anybody can develop frequent urination, regardless of your risk factors.

Fortunately, numerous treatments for the condition are within reach!

How Does My Doctor Diagnose Frequent Urination?

Your doctor can diagnose the cause of frequent urination using a series of diagnostic tests.

They first review your symptoms and medical history and often complete a physical examination.

Medical providers might recommend you undergo blood tests, urine, tests, a neurological exam, cystoscopy (using a thin lighted tube), bladder function tests, ultrasound, or other imaging procedures to make a diagnosis and develop an effective treatment.

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What are My Frequent Urination Treatment Options?

The frequent urination treatment that's right for you depends on what's causing the condition.

Lifestyle Changes

If you don't have a medical condition causing frequent urination, making lifestyle changes may help reduce the number of times you urinate.

Examples include limiting caffeine, alcohol, citrus juices, tomato-based products, and artificial sweeteners, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Doing pelvic floor exercises, also known as kegel exercises, can strengthen muscles that help stop bladder contractions.

Flex pelvic floor muscles for about five seconds and release.

Repeat this exercise about 10-20 times, three to four times daily, to achieve optimal results.

Weight Loss

If you're overweight, weight loss may help ease unpleasant urinary symptoms to give you a better quality of life.

It can also reduce embarrassing stress urinary incontinence.

To get excess weight off, increase cardiovascular exercise, focus on non-starchy vegetable and protein intake, and eat a variety of nutritious fats at each meal.

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Bladder Training

Bladder training is a home remedy that's often effective for reducing frequent urination associated with an overactive bladder.

Train your bladder by delaying going to the bathroom when you feel the urge to urinate.

Slowly increase the time you delay urinating to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Electrical Stimulation

With electrical stimulation, your doctor uses electrodes to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, relieve stress incontinence, and reduce symptoms of urge incontinence.

Multiple electrical stimulation treatments can offer you the best outcome and long-lasting results.

Bladder Injections

Believe it or not, Botox injections can relax targeted muscles and relieve severe urge incontinence.

After six months, you might require repeat Botox injections to maintain your results long-term.

Bulking injections can reduce leaking urine associated with incontinence.

Shock Wave Treatment

If you have kidney stones, shock wave treatment can break up the stones using sound waves, offering symptom relief.

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Nerve Stimulation

With nerve stimulation, your doctor places a pacemaker-like device underneath your skin to deliver electrical pulses to nerves that control your bladder.

Your provider might recommend nerve stimulation if you have overactive bladder or urge incontinence associated with frequent urination.

With percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS), your doctor places a thin needle in the skin near your ankle to stimulate nerves responsible for bladder control.

Medications

Depending on what's causing frequent urination, your doctor might prescribe medications to treat an underlying condition and relieve unpleasant symptoms.

For example, they can prescribe oral antibiotics if you have a urinary tract infection or certain sexually transmitted diseases, or insulin to help you better manage diabetes.

Laser Therapy

If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia, your provider might recommend high-energy laser treatment to remove overgrown prostate tissue.

The procedure often relieves unpleasant urinary symptoms right away with minimal risks.

Surgical Procedures

If the cause of frequent urination doesn't subside with conservative treatments or medications, your doctor might recommend you undergo a surgical procedure as a last resort.

They make sure your surgery is comfortable, and follow up with you after treatment to ensure optimal, long-lasting results.

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I Have Frequent Urination: What Should I Do First?

It's often a good idea to see your doctor if you experience severe or sudden frequent urination, especially if you've already tried at-home remedies for symptom relief without success.

Detecting and treating urinary tract problems early increases the chance of effectively treating your condition — and avoiding serious complications.

For more information about healthy lifestyle tips, weight loss, muscle building for men, or frequent urination and its treatments, sign up for the Fit Father Project or get started with a free meal plan and fat-burning workout today!

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Erin Coleman B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on frequent urination.

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