Are you experiencing urinary frequency?
Have ever wondered “Why do I have to pee so often?”
If you have, keep reading to learn what could be causing this.
There may be an easier solution to this problem than you think.
Let’s get the medical answers to this question out of the way first.
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 is 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 you 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.
An important point to also note is that certain drinks commonly increase the frequency you will have to pee such as coffee.
If you are avoiding drinking fluids because you feel like you 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 basically has gotten into the habit of emptying when it’s not actually full.
Say you frequently empty your bladder when it is 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 is 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 is very important in our bladder function but basically in this scenario you are 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.
A way to go about re-training your bladder is say you now are going to the bathroom every 30 minutes, try to hold off and wait to go until the 45 minute mark and slowly work your way up to that 2 hour mark.
This teaches your bladder that it doesn’t need to empty when it is not full and overtime changes when your brain will be sending the signal of an urge to urinate.
Sometimes we forget how much control we actually have over our body, even certain functions like urination. I’m not saying that retraining your bladder is easy and everyone’s journey will be different but it is 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 is 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. So basically you have no urge to urinate, but you go and pee anyway.
An example of this is say you are 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 peed 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 do this so in my opinion if you do this once in a while I would say this is fine but you don’t want get in 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 is really important to have a basic understanding of the systems in our bodies. 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 and it can get better!
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