When women urinate more frequently than usual, it could be due to consuming too many liquids, but it could also be caused by diabetes, pregnancy, menopause, pelvic floor dysfunction, trained behaviors, or a medical condition.
In most cases, the accompanying symptoms can provide clues as to the underlying cause. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for frequent urination in women.
What Is Considered Frequent Urination in Women?
According to pelvic health experts, women can expect to urinate between six and eight times in twenty-four hours. That said, this number can change depending on a woman’s age, liquid consumption, and overall health.
Consuming more alcohol or caffeinated drinks will certainly cause otherwise healthy women to urinate more frequently, for example. Also, women over the age of 50 might develop the need to pee at least once during the night and maybe more as they enter their 60s and 70s.
However, when women regularly feel the urge to pee more than eight times per day, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional to investigate the underlying cause.
What Causes Frequent Urination in Women?
The first factor women should consider when experiencing frequent urination is their liquid intake, particularly caffeinated drinks. Caffeine, which is not only found in coffee and tea but also in some carbonated and energy drinks, is a diuretic that causes the kidneys to make more urine. More urine means more frequent urination.
During pregnancy, women can also experience frequent urination due to the excess weight placed on the bladder by the growing fetus. After birth, weakened or overstretched pelvic floor muscles can contribute to frequent urination due to a lack of support for the bladder.
Weight gain or obesity are also known to put extra pressure on the bladder, especially when weight is gained around the midsection. Additionally, weight gain can lead to a lack of strength in the abdominals, which means less support for the pelvic floor muscles and bladder.
During perimenopause and menopause, low estrogen levels can cause a frequent urge to pee due to the role estrogen plays in supporting the pelvic floor, vagina, bladder, and urethra. Although widely known to support menstruation and reproduction, estrogen also helps to keep the pelvic muscles strong, and the walls of the bladder, vagina, and urethra pliable.
When estrogen levels drop, each of the aforementioned body parts can experience a loss of elasticity and result in more frequent urination in women. The good news is that a pelvic physical therapist can assist in correcting these and reducing urinary urgency.
A frequent urge to pee can also be triggered by several medical conditions, including:
- Interstitial cystitis
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Overactive bladder
- Urinary tract infection
Symptoms of Frequent Urination
When frequent urinating is caused by pregnancy, childbirth, weak pelvic floor muscles, weight gain, or consuming too much liquid, additional physical symptoms are rare. That said, it can adversely affect a woman’s overall quality of life due to a fear of being too far away from a bathroom when out and about.
Additionally, if the frequent need to pee continues through the night, sleep disturbances can result in a lack of energy throughout the day, as well as additional health issues.
However, when a frequent urge to pee is accompanied by additional symptoms, an underlying medical condition requiring treatment may be at the root of the problem. Additional symptoms that provide clues to the underlying condition can include but are not limited to the following:
- Urine color changes to pink or red – could indicate bladder or kidney stones
- Pelvic pain or burning sensation while urinating – could indicate a urinary tract infection
- Feeling a sudden and urgent need to urinate that may result in urine leaks – could indicate an overactive bladder (OAB)
- Not completely emptying the bladder and peeing again shortly after urinating – could indicate urinary retention
- Frequent urine leaks – could indicate urinary incontinence
- Burning sensation during frequent urination with an unquenching thirst – could indicate diabetes
Should you experience any of these symptoms along with frequent urination, it is important to connect with your doctor for a diagnosis. Your doctor may also check for neurological conditions that could be affecting the nerves that control the bladder or ask about any medication you might be taking that could increase bladder activity.
Once the symptoms and underlying condition are treated, frequent urination should improve.
What is The Most Common Cause of Frequent Urination in Women?
Although it can be the result of underlying medical conditions like those mentioned above, the most common cause of frequent urination in women is weak or overstretched pelvic floor muscles.
Often due to childbirth, weakened pelvic floor muscles can also be the result of weight gain, obesity, poor posture, lack of abdominal strength, low estrogen levels during menopause, and even a lack of support from the glutes. A pelvic physical therapist will help make modification in bladder behavior, and create a program to help reduce urinary frequency.
How To Stop Frequent Urination?
If your healthcare professional has ruled out any underlying medical conditions and determined that your frequent need to urinate is being caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, the following tips and treatments will help to strengthen them and get you back to a normal amount of bathroom trips.
Physical therapists, particularly those who specialize in pelvic health, can show you how to perform targeted exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles as well as the abdominals and glutes. This type of internal muscle toning is a game-changer when it comes to improving support for the pelvic organs and also improves posture.
One of the best ways to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles is to practice Kegel exercises. Involving an intentional contraction, lifting, and holding of the pelvic floor muscles in repetitive intervals, Kegels can stop frequent urination when practiced daily for as little as three months.
Even though regular Kegel exercises are the best treatment for strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles, many women fail to practice them correctly or don’t do the right number of contractions to make a difference. To help, pelvic floor physical therapist Amanda Olson of Intimate Rose designed super comfortable Kegel Weights in a set of incremental sizes and weights.
Made from body-safe medical silicone, these Kegel Weights are designed to slip easily into the vagina. Once held in place by contracting the pelvic floor muscles around them, women are encouraged to spend the time relaxing or doing chores for 10-15 minutes per day while the pelvic floor muscles strengthen.
Used to reduce the number of times women go to the bathroom per day, bladder training involves urinating only at planned times. While it doesn’t suit every patient and is not recommended for every case of frequent urination in women, it works for some. Women should never begin bladder training before first discussing it with a medical professional.
Although it can be daunting to think about doing exercise while experiencing the frequent urge to pee, it is important to increase your daily exercise if weight gain has weakened your pelvic floor muscles. Start slow, where you are close to a bathroom if needed, and increase the intensity of your workouts as you grow more confident.
Food & Drink
To further contribute to weight loss, try eating healthier by sticking to whole foods, vegetables, and water instead of processed foods and caffeinated drinks or alcohol. Sip water when you are thirsty rather than gulping it down.
It also helps to steer clear of acidic foods like citric fruits and tomatoes as well as spicy and salty food, which can trigger thirst, and irritate the bladder.
If your doctor has concluded that low levels of estrogen are the cause of your frequent urination, they may prescribe hormone therapy (HT) to boost your estrogen levels.
As a safer alternative, many female health experts recommend taking a natural supplement called Chasteberry, also known as Vitex. Chasteberry is known to successfully mimic the effects of estrogen in the body without increasing the risk of breast cancer or uterine cancer as HT does.
Frequent urination in women can be caused by various factors including over-drinking, weak pelvic floor muscles, menopause, or an underlying medical condition. Ignoring frequent urination or self-diagnosing can lead to serious complications so it’s best to consult with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Cleveland Clinic – What Your Bladder is Trying to Tell You About Your Health - https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-your-bladder-is-trying-to-tell-you-about-your-health-2/
Web MD – Food & Drink to Tame an Overactive Bladder - https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/food-drink
Web MD – Overactive Bladder - https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/causes-overative-bladder
Cleveland Clinic - Urinary Retention - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15427-urinary-retention
Medical News Today - Why might frequent urination indicate diabetes? - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/diabetes-pee#other-urine-symptoms
Medline Plus – Kegel Exercises - https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000141.htm
Intimate Rose – How to Use Kegel Weights - https://www.intimaterose.com/pages/how-to-use-kegel-weights