Why You May Be Peeing So Often
Have you ever wondered, “Why do I have to pee so often?” If you’ve asked yourself this question, keep reading to learn what may be causing this. There may be an easier solution than you think.
Let’s get the medical answers to this question out of the way first.
The term for ‘having to pee often’ is urinary frequency.
Some medical type causes of increased urinary frequency could be a urinary tract infection, diabetes, prostate issues, kidney stones, or pregnancy (to name a few). It could also be a side effect of certain medications. It’s always important to see a medical doctor to ensure that there is no medical reason for your increased urinary frequency.
Now, if you are cleared medically, let’s look at what else could be causing you to have to pee all the time...
A non-medical cause of having to go to the bathroom often is that you could be drinking too much water, although keep in mind, most people are actually under-hydrated as opposed to over-hydrated.
We should be drinking half of our body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you would want to drink 75 oz. of fluids each day. AT LEAST two-thirds of the fluid you drink should be water. This is a general recommendation and could change based on certain factors such as activity level and being in hot/humid environments etc.
You can get a general idea of your hydration level by looking at the color of your urine. If the color is a dark yellow variation, you are probably dehydrated. A paler yellow color would indicate that you are well hydrated.
It is important to note that certain beverages, like coffee, can increase the frequency of urination.
If you are avoiding drinking fluids because you feel like you have to pee all the time, I urge you to please change this. This just causes other issues and increases the risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI), so please drink enough water.
Ok, you’re drinking the correct amount of water, now what could it be?
A very common cause of urinary frequency is that your bladder has gotten into the habit of emptying when it’s not actually full.
Here’s an example to help you understand:
Say you frequently empty your bladder when it’s only one quarter full.
Eventually, your bladder will get used to this and now every time it’s a quarter of the way full, it sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to empty.
This signal causes you to feel the urge to urinate even though you don’t necessarily need to empty your bladder yet. The signal to urinate is very important for our bladder function, but basically in this scenario, you’re getting the signal too early.
There is a way to fix this issue and that is to retrain your bladder to empty when it actually needs to be emptied.
Most resources say that we should be emptying our bladder every 3-4 hours. If every 3 hours seems impossible for you right now, let’s aim for every 2 hours.
Here’s an example of how you can work to retrain your bladder:
Say you currently go to the bathroom every 30 minutes; try to hold off and wait to go until the 45 minute mark. Once you can wait 45 minutes, see if you can wait one hour. Slowly work your way up to that 2 hour mark.
By engaging in bladder retraining, you can effectively modify the timing of the urinary urge signals transmitted from your brain to your bladder.
This process helps retrain your bladder so that it no longer feels the need to empty when it’s not genuinely full.
Sometimes we forget how much control we actually have over our body, even functions like urination. I’m not saying that retraining your bladder is easy and everyone’s journey will be different, but it’s just amazing to think of how we have the power to take back control over something that we might usually think would be out of our control.
Also, although it’s unlikely that anyone reading this holds their urine for a long time, I wanted to mention that you don’t want to hold your urine for more than 4 hours at a time during the day because this again can lead to issues such as a UTI.
Stop going to the bathroom "just in case"
Another thing you can work on to help with the symptoms of urinary frequency is avoiding going to the bathroom “just in case”.
What I mean by “just in case” is when you empty your bladder when you don’t really have to go. Basically this is when you have no urge to urinate, but you go and pee anyway.
An example of this is say you’re going out to a store and you go to the bathroom before you leave the house even though you don’t feel like you have to. Maybe you had even just urinated 20 minutes prior. Like I mentioned previously, this overtime teaches the bladder that it wants to empty when it isn’t full and will cause you to feel like you have to urinate earlier than you actually do.
There is one exception to this rule; it is recommended that you empty your bladder before and after sex to prevent UTIs. So if no sex is involved in the scenario, then no going just in case!
Now, if you are going on 2 hour car ride and you know you aren’t going to want to stop along the way at a gross rest stop, is it ok to urinate before you leave the house? I can’t say that I wouldn’t personally do this so in my opinion, if you do this once in a while, I would say it’s fine, but you don’t want get into the habit of doing this all the time.
The pelvic floor:
Lastly, another non-medical cause of increased urinary frequency could be that the pelvic floor muscles that support your bladder are tight. These tight muscles can put extra pressure on the bladder, making it feel like you need to empty your bladder more frequently. A pelvic floor physical therapist is a great person to help with this.
I hope you found this post is helpful.
I believe it’s important to have a basic understanding of the systems in your body.
I think this can help us all live healthier and happier lives.
I also try to bring awareness to topics such as these to inform people that things like this are not “normal” and are not something you have to live with.
If you feel like your bladder is taking over your life, there is help out there for you. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and maybe see a pelvic floor physical therapist. These symptoms can get better!