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Frequent Urination in Women

Frequent Urination in Women

Commonly found in women, frequent urination is a problem that can affect their daily activities. This is a brief overview about the condition, that may develop due to various causes, ranging from mild to severe.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
In women, frequent urination can be caused by various reasons, like hormonal changes. This condition can be described as the urge to urinate more than usual, along with an increased frequency of urination. An increase in the amount of urine may or may not occur. Pain or burning sensation may also be experienced by the affected person. The associated symptoms may vary with the underlying cause.
What are the Causes?
Frequent urination is more common in women, as compared to men. While some of the causes are common for both genders, women are more inclined to suffer from this condition. This is mainly due to their body constitution and comparatively higher rate of hormonal fluctuations. Lifestyle problems may also contribute to such health issues. Here is a compilation of some of the common causes for frequent urination in women.
Hormonal Changes:
Variations in hormone levels during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause may increase the frequency of urination. This could be due to the effect of hormones on the stretching ability of the bladder. In most cases, an increase in urine volume is not noticed.
Multiple Pregnancy:
Another cause for frequent urination in females is multiple pregnancy, which may cause reduced bladder support too. This is caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and bladder muscles, which results in the inability of the bladder to hold and release urine properly. This condition may also be found in women with normal pregnancy. This is due to the extra pressure on the bladder (caused by the growing uterus). Apart from that, as in normal pregnancy, hormonal changes happen in multiple one too, thereby contributing to frequent urination.
Urinary Tract Infection:
One of the common health problems in women, urinary tract infection is a cause of frequent urination. Such infections cause inflammation and irritation of the urethral and bladder lining. The affected person will develop an urge to urinate frequently. She may also experience pain/burning sensation while urinating, and the urine can be cloudy and foul-smelling. In some cases, the urine may contain blood too. In case of lower urinary tract infection, the affected person may find it difficult to urinate, despite the strong urge to do so. The symptoms may vary with the location and the severity of the infection.
Interstitial Cystitis:
Inflammation of the bladder or interstitial cystitis is another problem, which can cause frequent urination in women. This condition reduces bladder capacity, thereby causing frequent urination (both day and night). Apart from the increased frequency of urination, bladder pain is another symptom that is associated with this condition. The symptoms tend to get worse during menstrual cycles and stressful times. The affected person may also experience pain and tenderness in the pelvic region, especially the area between the anus and vagina. This discomfort may get reduced with urination.
A common medical condition, diabetes can also cause an increase in frequency of urination in both genders. This symptom is found in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is caused by the rising blood glucose levels. The body tries to expel the unused glucose in the blood, through urine. This increases the frequency of urination. Diabetes can also affect the nerves that control bladder movements, and cause urinary incontinence in some people. Those with diabetes are also prone to urinary and vaginal infections. This may also contribute to increased urine output.
Bladder Cancer:
Frequent urination could be a symptom of bladder cancer, which may also cause painful urination, urinary urgency, leakage of urine, abdominal pain, back pain, etc. However, blood in urine is considered the most common symptom. The affected person may also experience loss of appetite and weight loss. In case of women, the chances of misdiagnosis are much higher. Blood in urine is often linked to urinary tract infection and post-menopausal symptoms. In women, smokers are mostly found to develop this type of cancer.

Apart from the above said causes, there are various other physical as well as medical conditions and lifestyle factors that can cause this problem. The following is a list of such conditions.
  • Ovarian cysts/Nephritis/Kidney failure
  • Bladder infection/Overactive bladder/Vaginitis
  • Small size of the urinary bladder/Kidney stones
  • Tumors on the bladder, ovaries or uterus
  • Multiple Sclerosis/Heart diseases
  • Aging/Stress/Intake of large amounts of fluids
  • Use of medication like diuretics
  • Radiation therapy/Hyperthyroidism/Stroke
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Regular intake of caffeine/artificial sweeteners/alcohol
Women have a tendency to reduce intake of water and hold urine for longer durations, so as to avoid urination due to hygiene concerns and other reasons. In the long run, this may lead to problems like infection, and associated symptoms like frequent urination.

Frequent urination in females is normal in certain conditions, like pregnancy, but if you have no such reason or you are experiencing additional symptoms, then you have to consult a urologist to find out the underlying cause and treat the condition.
Diagnosis and Treatment
It has been noted that frequent urination is usually not associated with an increase in the volume of urine, if it is caused by urinary tract infection, STDs, pregnancy, or menopause. If the affected person is also experiencing an increase in urine output, then it could be due to diabetes, use of diuretics, and heart or kidney diseases. The underlying cause for frequent urination may vary from one woman to another. So correct diagnosis is very much important. Diagnostic tests like ultrasonography, urinalysis, urine culture, cystoscopy, and certain neurological tests are usually used to detect the underlying cause for frequent urination in women. Treating the underlying cause will eliminate this problem. If there is no such cause, you may opt for other self-help measures, like kegel exercises, diet modification, and reduction in intake of fluids. Avoid excess intake of caffeinated and carbonated beverages, and alcoholic drinks, especially before bedtime. Bladder retraining is one of the techniques that is found to be useful for remedying this problem. It is nothing other than trying to hold urine for longer intervals, during a course of around three months. With time, the bladder may get trained to hold urine for longer periods, thereby reducing the frequency of urination. This is a type of behavioral therapy that has to be done, according to your doctor's instructions. This technique is recommended for specific cases only, and the decision is taken on the basis of the underlying cause.
Frequent urination can be prevented to some extent with proper diet and regular exercises. Kegel exercises are said to be very much effective in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic area, thereby preventing problems, like frequent urination. However, those with underlying medical conditions have to get them treated at the earliest. Otherwise too, you have to consult a doctor and diagnose the condition, once you notice the symptoms.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.