Frequent Urination in Men & Women, Causes, Treatment
Frequent urination in men, women, and children can also be described as excessive urination or urinary frequency. This condition can be divided into the following subcategories:
- Polyuria which relates to an increase in total volume of urine produced or
- A dysfunction in voiding whereby there are problems with the storage and emptying of urine or
- Urinary incontinence in which there is involuntary loss of urine
This condition will is often associated with diabetes but it can in other cases be a side effect of certain medication. Though common in pregnant women, anybody can be affected regardless of their age.
This article offers an insight into some of the cause, symptoms and effective remedies you can use to soothe the symptoms.
What causes frequent urination in men, children & women?
According to mayo clinic, frequent urination may be caused by diseases affecting the urinary tract at any level. This may include the kidneys, the ureters (tubes connecting the kidney to bladder), the bladder, and the urethra (the duct through which urine flows out from the bladders)
In children, men and women, several factors may be linked to this condition. These include such things as:
- Underlying medical conditions that increase urine production
- Injury or irritation to the bladder
- Certain medication
- Changes in muscles, nerve or tissues affecting the bladder
- Overconsumption of some beverages
Some possible causes of frequent and urgent urination may include the following:
Frequent urination can be early signs of sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia. Chlamydia is a common STD caused by bacteria.
This condition will in most of the cases go unnoticed as it does not develop symptoms such as genital pain or smelly penile or vaginal discharge.
When accompanied by symptoms they are likely to include:
- Painful urination
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal and penile discharge
- Bleeding between period in women
- Testicular pain in men
According to WebMD, frequent urination with an abnormally large amount of urine will often time be an early sign of type 1 or 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition in which your body is unable to produce or respond to the hormone insulin.
This is what results in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood. The excess urine thus is the result of your body getting rid of excess glucose.
Anxiety can also a sudden urge to urinate. In such cases, the urge may be strong and difficult to control.
4. Interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis is a rare condition characterized by pain in the bladder and pelvic region. With this condition, symptoms will often include frequent and urgent need to urinate.
5. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
BPH is considered a natural part of aging. It’s a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate which occurs when a man’s prostate gland grows bigger as one age.
The prostate surrounds parts of your urethra, with benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate squeezes the urethra, and this can cause weak stream when you pee or constant urination at night.
BPH is not prostate cancer and does not increase your likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
6. Stroke and other neurologic diseases
Stroke and other neurological disorders might also be the underlying cause of the frequent urination. With such conditions, a damage to the nerves that supply the bladder can hinder the proper functioning of the bladder.
Such diseases can be shown by other symptoms including frequent and sudden urges to pass urine.
7. Prostate problem
A prostate problem can also be the other cause of the frequent or constant urination. According to WebMD, an enlarged prostate can press against the urethra thus block the normal flow of urine.
With a blocked urethra, the bladder become irritable, it begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. This can be the underlying cause of the frequent urination.
8. Certain medication
The urgent and frequent need to urinate can also be a side effect of certain medication.
For instance diuretic medicine used to treat high blood pressure or fluid buildup work in the kidney often result in frequent urination.
Painful frequent urination in men
According to Harvard health publishing, painful and frequent urination is a common problem in older men. Often times, this is often a symptom of urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or prostate problems.
9. Urinary retention
This refers to the inability to completely empty your bladder. This condition can be acute or chronic, where it can be considered a medical emergency.
Urinary retention is common in men who are in there 50s and 60s. This is often due to prostate enlargement.
Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland. The inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men. It is found below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
The primary function of the prostate is to make semen, the fluid that contains sperm. It is the work of the semen to protect the sperm when traveling towards the ovum.
Prostatitis is characterized by a swollen, tender and inflamed prostate. Other symptoms may include:
- High fever and chills
- Lower back pain
- Joint pain
- Pain and difficulty urinating
- Weak urine stream
7. Urinary tract infection
Though common in women, UTIs can also occur in men. UTIs are common infections that affect the bladder, kidney, and the tubes connecting these organs.
These infections can be painful and uncomfortable but usually pass within a few days. They can also easily be treated with antibiotics.
Common symptoms in both men and women include:
- Urgent and frequent need to pee
- Pain, burning sensation or discomfort when urinating
- Smelly, and cloudy urine
- Felling as though you are unable to empty your bladder
- Generally feeling unwell
12. Overactive bladder
Overactive bladder is also a common cause of sudden urge to pee. With this condition, the urge may be difficult to stop and may also lead to the involuntary loss of urine. This condition is known as urge incontinence.
Though this condition is common in old age, it is not a normal part of aging. Overactive bladder can be caused by:
- Normal bladder function
- Involuntary bladder contraction, common in people with neurological disorders, diabetes, acute UTIs, and excess constipation
To prevent this condition, you are required to:
- Quit smoking and alcohol consumption
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Regular physical exercises
- Make sure to manage chronic conditions among other things
When there is no pain involved, then it this condition can be a side effect of certain medication or symptom of diabetes.
Pain or a burning sensation when urinating can also be a sign of a serious underlying condition, for this reason, we recommend you have your healthcare provider diagnose the condition as soon as possible.
Frequent urination during pregnancy
During pregnancy, polyuria is often as a result of drinking excessive amounts of fluids (polydipsia). This will often include water and fluids that contain caffeine.
In women, frequent urination is often a typical an early sign of pregnancy. It is considered a part of the normal physical and hormonal changes your body goes through.
In an early stage of your pregnancy, the womb is low down in your pelvis. As the baby continues to grow a lot of pressure is exerted on your bladder.
As the baby continues to grow, your womb moves up into the abdomen, it is at this time that you will find yourself making few trips to the toilet.
But then as the pregnancy progress, your body continues to produce more urine.
Hormones fluctuation and lack of space both put pressure on your urinary system, especially in late pregnancy.
Progesterone (pregnancy hormone) puts pressure on the tubes of the urinary system making hard for urine to pass from the kidneys, to the bladder and out of your system.
This means more trips to the loo to pass small amounts of urine. Normally, you can expect your need to wee to calm down soon after your baby is born.
This is however not immediately, it takes some time before the condition can completely clear.
Baby center notes that after delivery, you will first need to produce even greater quantities of urine since your body has to get rid of the extra fluids retained during pregnancy.
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Frequent urination at night
When occurring at night, this condition is referred to as nocturia. Is common in pregnant women than in other people.
At night it is often, though not necessarily associated with urinary incontinence and polyuria (producing large amounts of urine).
In rare cases, urinary frequency may involve only normal volumes of urine.
At night urinary frequency will strongly be associated with urinary urgency. Urinary urgency is a sudden, compelling urge to urinate. When uncontrollable it causes urge incontinence.
Generally, the amount of urine in our bodies decreases and becomes more concentrated at night.
To prevent the frequent and urgent need to urinate at night, you may need to:
- Limit the amount of fluid you take before bed
- Completely avoid foods and beverage that can irritate your bladder. This includes alcohol, caffeine, and citrus juice among others
Symptoms accompanying the frequent urge to urinate will often vary depending on what the underlying cause or causes are. For instance, Nocturia can be a sign of diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus. Common accompanying symptoms may include:
- Pain and burning sensation when urinating
- Difficulties urinating despite the urge
- Bloody, cloudy or urine with unusual color
- Loss of bladder control
- Vaginal and penile discharge
- Low back and side pain
- Increased thirst and food appetite
Effects of frequent urination
Frequent and urgent need to urinate may lead to unwanted effects when not properly checked.
When urinating more than normal and not replacing the lost fluids and electrolytes you may risk becoming dehydrated.
It is therefore very important to be on the watch for signs of dehydrating when dealing with this urinary incontinence.
The first step is to have the underlying cause diagnosed. Normally treating the underlying cause is the best way to resolve the issue.
According to mayo clinic, initial signs of dehydration may include:
- Dry sticky mouth
- Mild to Severe thirst
- Mild to moderate headaches
- Dark yellow or amber colored urine
Severe cases of dehydration can be shown by:
- Sunken eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Lack of sweating
- Skin that is not elastic
- Low blood sugar
- Irregular heartbeats
Diagnosis and Treatment of frequent urination
When the frequent urge to urinate is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, pain in your back and side, vomiting, fatigue or cloudy urine, then urgent medical diagnosis and treatment may be required.
When diagnosing the underlying cause, your healthcare provider may require performing some physical examination.
It is from the findings of the physical examination that your doctor may order other tests. Some of these tests would include:
This is a microscopic examination of urine. This test also involves a number of tests to detect and measure various compounds that pass through the urine.
Cytometry is a test that measures the pressure inside the bladder to see how well your bladder is working. This test is done to determine if a muscle or nerve problem may be causing problems with the proper functioning of the bladder.
Cystoscopy is a medical procedure that allows your doctor to examine the lining of your bladder and the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).
In this procedure, your doctor uses a thin, lighted instrument called a cystoscope to look inside your bladder and urethra.
d) Neurological test
Neurological tests are diagnostic test and procedures that help your healthcare provider confirm or rule out the presence of a nerve disorder.
This is an imaging test using sound waves to visualize an internal body structure that might be blocking your bladder or urethra.
Treatment and Home remedies for frequent urination
Treating this condition will often vary depending on what the underlying cause is. For this reason, diagnosis of the underlying cause or causes requires careful and thorough evaluation.
For instance when the underlying cause of the condition is diabetes, then treatment will involve keeping blood sugar levels under control.
Apart from prescription medication, there are other options for those that do not respond to lifestyle and medication. In both men and women, the drug Botox can be injected into the bladder muscle.
This will cause the bladder to relax, increase storage capacity and reduce episodes of leakage.
There are also several available surgeries. An example of a less invasive one involves implanting small nerve stimulators just beneath the skin.
The nerves they stimulate control the pelvic floor. The device can manipulate contractions within the pelvic floor thus help in managing frequency and urge to urinate.
In cases of overactive bladder, treatment may begin with behavioral therapies such as:
1. Diet modification
One of the most effective option to reduce the frequent urge to urinate is diet modification. This method involves avoiding any food that appears to irritate your bladder or acts as a diuretic. Some of these foods include:
- carbonated drinks,
- tomato-based products
- artificial sweeteners
- spicy foods
You need to increase your intake of high-fiber foods. This is because constipation may worsen the symptoms of overactive bladder.
2. Bladder retraining
Bladder retraining involves increasing the intervals between using the bathroom over the course of about 3 months. This helps your bladder to hold urine for long. This can be a natural way to urinate less frequently.
3. Kegel exercises
Kegel exercise helps strengthen the muscles around the bladder and the urethra. Kegel exercises improve bladder control thus reduce urinary urgency and frequency.
In men, Kegel exercises can also help improve sexual performance. Before performing this exercise, you need to first locate the correct muscle. To do the exercise:
- First, you need to identify the right muscle. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in mid-stream or tighten the muscles that keep you from passing gas.
- While laying down tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three seconds then relax for the next 3 seconds. Try this few times in a row.
- For best result, you need to maintain your focus. When doing this be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. avoid holding your breath instead breathe freely during the exercises
Kegel exercise for men
Kegel exercise for women
4. Monitoring your fluid intake
The other way you can manage frequent and urgent urination is by monitoring your fluid intake. You should drink fluids to avoid dehydration, constipation, and over-concentration of urine but avoid lots of drinks before bed or when traveling.
- Harvard health publishing, painful or frequent urination in men: https://www.health.harvard.edu/decision_guide/painful-or-frequent-urination-in-men
- WebMD, causes, and treatment of frequent urination: https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/frequent-urination-causes-and-treatments#1
- Mayo Clinic, what is frequent urination: https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/frequent-urination/basics/causes/sym-20050712
- Wikipedia, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of frequent urination: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequent_urination
- Livestrong, effect of frequent urination: https://www.livestrong.com/article/43200-frequent-urination-effects-dehydration/
- Baby center, frequent urination during pregnancy: https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a237/frequent-urination-in-pregnancy