8 Reasons You're Peeing So Much

The urgent need to urinate frequently can really hamper your quality of life.

“It makes it difficult to take trips, make it through dinner, be part of a social event, attend a play or get through the grocery store,” urologist Irina Jaeger MD, says.

Urinary frequency affects about 33 million American adults. Approximately 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women experience it at some point in their lives.

The chances of developing urinary frequency increase with age, especially when men develop enlarged prostates and women pass menopause.

Why You Might Need to Urinate More

Here are eight reasons, according to Dr. Jaeger, that you may be running to the bathroom more often than you’d like:

  1. Overactive bladder. This is the most common culprit. It’s marked by the need to urinate more than eight times during the day, waking up more than once a night to pee and frequently losing bladder control before reaching the toilet.
  2. Enlarged prostate. This may occur in men as early as age 30 and may be accompanied by a slow urinary stream and the inability to empty the bladder completely.
  3. Diabetes. Elevated blood sugar can increase thirst, causing you to drink often and, consequently, void frequently.
  4. Stroke. “The bladder is controlled by the brain, so it’s very common to see a stroke’s side effects manifest through bladder frequency,” Dr. Jaeger says.
  5. Interstitial cystitis. This condition, which affects women, is marked by a frequent need to urinate that is accompanied by bladder pain and a distended bladder. Relief often occurs following urination.
  6. High fluid intake or dietary triggers. It stands to reason that if you drink a lot, you’re going to pee a lot. But your bladder alsocan become overstimulated by caffeine, citrus fruits and other acids, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and spicy foods.
  7. Urinary tract infection. Symptoms may include blood in the urine, passing small amounts of urine despite a feeling of urgency, burning or pelvic pain.
  8. Bladder cancer. This is rare, so don’t panic if you find your trips to the bathroom are increasing, Dr. Jaeger says.

What You Can Do About Frequent Urination

Fortunately, most instances of urinary frequency or incontinence don’t pose a health risk and, depending on the cause and severity, may be treated by:

  • Lifestyle changes that include decreasing fluid intake, limiting bothersome foods and beverages and giving up cigarettes
  • Urge-suppression and kegel exercises
  • Medications
  • TURP surgery, which opens the prostate to unblock the urethra
  • Botox for the bladder, which lasts up to six months
  • Spinal cord stimulators, in which implanted electrodes stimulate the spinal cord to control the squeezing of the bladder
  • Diabetes medications

“Everybody has a different threshold of what’s bothersome, so you should see a urologist when the symptoms are getting in the way,” Dr. Jaeger says, adding it’s important to call a doctor immediately if you have blood in your urine, experience burning while voiding or can’t empty your bladder completely.

Irina Jaeger, MD, is a urologist at University Hospitals Urological Institute at University Suburban Health Center, UH Brainard Medical Building and University Urology at the Geauga Medical Building. You can request an appointment with Dr. Jaeger or any other University Hospitals doctor online.

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